California

Gov. Brown Looks to Change Calif. Education Funding Formula

Wants to give school districts more control over spending and send more money to poor students and English learners

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After California schools eliminated art programs and increased class sizes to survive budget cuts, they are finally on the verge of getting more money thanks to voter-approved taxes and economic recovery.

But K-12 districts may not share equally in the expanding budget pie.

Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing hard to overhaul California's convoluted school funding system. His plan has two major objectives: Give K-12 districts greater control over how they spend money, and send more dollars to impoverished students and English learners.

Studies show that such children require more public help to reach the same level of achievement as their well-off peers. But as rich and poor communities alike clamor for money in the wake of funding cuts, Brown's plan could leave wealthy suburbs with fewer new dollars than poorer urban and rural districts.