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ERIC Number: ED521364
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
Rethinking the State-Local Relationship: K-12 Education
Weston, Margaret
Public Policy Institute of California
Governor Jerry Brown's January 2011 budget proposal suggests shifting responsibility and funding for many state programs from the state to the local level. Under this "realignment" of government authority, local governments--usually counties--would be given responsibility for providing the services in realigned programs, and the state would provide local governments with a source of funding for the new responsibilities. In addition, local governments would be granted the authority to reshape realigned programs to better accommodate local conditions and priorities. Although K-12 education is not included in the governor's realignment proposal, similar themes apply to the current discussions and legislation pertaining to California's school finance system. This report examines California's school finance system through the lens of realignment, offering a framework for thinking about how K-12 realignment might work and the difficulties it might face. Certainly there are arguments on both sides of the equation. Proponents of greater local control argue that local school authorities have a better knowledge than state officials of the unique needs in their districts and that greater local control would reduce the administrative burden on schools and enable them to redirect their resources toward improving student outcomes. Those in favor of maintaining state control argue that central control allows the state to ensure its priorities are met across individual districts and that students in all districts, regardless of their size or location, are provided with similar educational opportunities. This study examines the trade-offs of each approach, concluding that thoughtful revisions in the state's categorical funding system would offer a good first step in moving toward a more productive, efficient, and transparent school finance system. (Contains 2 figures and 4 footnotes.) [Additional funding for this report was provided by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.]
Public Policy Institute of California. 500 Washington Street Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94111. Tel: 415-291-4400; Fax: 415-291-4401; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Public Policy Institute of California
Identifiers - Location: California