Underprivileged schools would get more per-student funding than other schools across the state under a proposed budget unveiled by Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday.
"Our future depends not on across-the-board funding, but disproportionately funding those schools that have disproportionate challenges," Brown said at a press conference.
He also said most categorical funding for schools should be eliminated and the money delivered more directly.
"As you go up the line you lose control and build bureaucracy," the governor said. "We want to put the money into local schools, but create greater control."
Brown also said the state's deficit is gone for the first time in years, adding it could reduce its debt substantially by 2016.
"The deficit's gone; the wall of debt remains," Brown said, noting the state's $36 billion debt could be reduced to $4.3 billion by 2016.
The budget proposed by Brown also increases per-student funding for all levels of education; by the 2016-17 school year, K-12 schools would see a $2,681 increase in spending for each student. At the CSU and UC levels, spending would increase by about $2,000 and $2,500 by 2016-17, respectively.
"I would like to thank Gov. Jerry Brown for his leadership on a new proposal for funding California's public schools," said John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, in a press release Thursday. "As superintendent of the state's largest school district, I believe the changes announced today are quite positive for our students in the Los Angeles Unified School District."
Deasy said Brown's budget looks "very promising" for the financial stability of LAUSD.
"While funding formulas need to be analyzed, it points to the direction of preventing any furloughs for next year and not having to initiate new cuts," he said.
Deasy noted he strongly supports the student-weighted formula for determining how much money school districts should receive.
"Under this proposal, our district will receive new funds that allow us to address our structural deficit," he said. "While this may not allow any increases to programs, I believe this will help preserve the instructional calendar and continue the strides we are making in producing college and career-ready student."
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