Wealthy, educated, liberal districts can -- less prosperous areas cannot.
Look at Marin County last year (below). Relying on parcel taxes alone deepens inequity. To reach full and fair funding in California, we need “all oars in the water” and a solid base from which to start. Supplementing LCFF in areas with high regional costs helps wealthy and middle-class districts a little, and less comfortable districts a lot.
Too often the education community lets itself get caught up in a self-defeating ‘virtue signalling’ cycle. We leave our least-advantaged districts to struggle out of ‘concern’ that wealthier districts might get little more. What good has this done Novato and San Rafael? None.
Marin County not only collects enough education-allocated property tax to fund all districts at a local-cost-adjusted basis (23.8% uplift) -- it also provides the state with $1.4 billion a year of personal income tax above and beyond everything needed to fund its schools and its citizens’ use of state services. Instead of looking sideways, we need to look ahead and deal with this omission from Dr. Kirst’s blueprint for LCFF which recognized in 2008 that adjusting for regional cost differences was integral to an equitable, rational school funding system.