Gov. Brown: “It’s Pretty Hard” to Close the Achievement Gap

Governor Brown has provided an exclusive interview to CALmatters. In it he discusses the Local Control Funding Formula and how it will help close the racial disparity gap.

He doesn’t think LCFF will close the gap.

“It’s pretty hard to do,” he says. But adds that “it’s giving people a boost who are coming into school with experiences that don’t lend themselves as much to mastering the material as other people.”

The Funding Formula has changed the way monies are dispersed to schools, favoring programs and districts that help English learners, foster children, and low-income children. It has also provided more power to school districts in how they spend funds.

The governor cites Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education and retired Stanford University professor, as the source for LCFF.

“He’s very helpful at both handling the abstractions required for remote control, which state government does, and yet keeping the flexibility at the local level so that the people who are doing the work -- the teachers -- have the guidance but also the freedom to do a good job of teaching,” Brown said of Kirst. “That balance is really what I guess I come to.”

But essentially Brown believes that teachers should have more autonomy to do what they believe is best for California’s 6 million students.

Let’s create opportunities,” he said. “But what is that? We got to recruit the teachers. You’ve got to pay them. You got to create enough freedom.”


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