Time for change in financing methods

Time for change in financing methods – To Our Readers

Larry Aceves

Dear Colleague:

News articles appear in our local papers with greater frequency reporting the devastating effects of California’s budget on education. Communities, unwilling to just sit back and watch, are coming up with stopgap solutions of their own to try and save their schools.

In Santa Cruz, a parent group is trying to raise $1 million to prevent two elementary schools from being closed for financial reasons. The Belmont-Redwood Shores School District is considering selling corporate sponsorship licenses to everything from classrooms to schools to the entire district. In San Diego, three new schools will be built on campuses of existing schools to save money on land costs.

You have also been reading weekly updates in EdCal outlining ACSA’s efforts to make the cuts to education as painless as possible. In this issue of Leadership magazine, Legislative Advocate Brett McFadden explains how California’s economy went from boom to bust in such a short time and the impact that the state’s volatile revenue structure has on education financing. He then shares the solutions that ACSA has been advocating at the state level to provide our schools with greater financial stability.

“California’s K-12 education system has been at the mercy of the state for more than two decades,” he writes. “The time for change has long passed. The state and its more than 1,000 school districts cannot sustain continued academic growth within the confines of our current financing methodology.”

The truth is that California’s schools have been underfunded for decades, and school leaders have been figuring out how to do more with less all along. In these pages you will learn more about some of those creative strategies, which include seeking special grants and establishing budget advisory committees.

This issue of Leadership was designed to complement the upcoming May/June issue, which will examine the skills we need and responsibilities we have as school leaders who are trying to “do the right thing” in this midst of this crisis.

Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to support each other. ACSA pledges to stand by you and work to ensure that budget cuts don’t cut the heart out of the schools and students we care so much about. Please stand together with us.

Sincerely,

Larry Aceves

ACSA President

COPYRIGHT 2003 Association of California School Administrators

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