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ERIC Number: ED537655
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Getting beyond the Facts: Reforming California School Finance. Issue Brief
Bersin, Alan; Kirst, Michael W.; Liu, Goodwin
Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity
California's school finance system is long overdue for reform. The authors propose a new system that is more rational, more equitable, and, they believe, politically feasible. At its core, their proposal aims to link district revenue to student needs and regional costs while ensuring that all districts are held harmless at current funding levels. A reformed finance system is not a complete solution to improving student achievement. Changes in governance, incentives, and accountability are also required. But a rational funding mechanism provides an essential backdrop for discussion of broader reform issues. This policy brief discusses the background of the problems, the principles and concepts that guide their reform, and various simulations of how their reform might work in practice. The authors show that significant improvement in the finance system can be achieved with modest new investment. California's current budget woes do not preclude implementation of their proposal. To the contrary, now is an especially good time to pursue a fundamental overhaul of the present system. Experience shows that there is little appetite for reform in rosy budget years, as lawmakers simply use available money to create new programs. A lean budget year provides a critical window of opportunity to create a new framework for school finance that will ensure equity and coherence in funding allocations when new money becomes available. (Contains 2 figures, 6 tables, and 37 footnotes.)
Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity. Available from: Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy. University of California Berkeley School of Law, 2850 Telegraph Avenue Suite 500, Berkeley, CA 94705. Tel: 510-642-8568; Fax: 510-643-7095; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity
Identifiers - Location: California