LAO Says Transparency, Not More Money, Needed for High-Poverty Schools

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has thrown cold water on Gavin Newsom’s plan to allocate $300 million in new state funding to the state’s poorest schools.

“We find that the key issue is increasing transparency to ensure existing funding actually targets the highest needs schools and student subgroups,” the Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote in a report released last week.

The LAO urged lawmakers to reject the funding increase and consider options for greater transparency instead. That would be problematic for the Governor, who proposed the additional funding to assuage Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D-La Mesa) and the Legislative Black Caucus. 

The $300 million is part of a larger plan proposed by Newsom to help close the achievement gap – something the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has failed to do. His plan also includes Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) changes to better address underperformance of racial groups. The LAO supports this aspect of the proposal with modifications.

Read the LAO report here