School board President Sadie Reid has joined a state effort to get more money for urban school districts.
In a plea addressed to the Legislature last week, Reid said that these urban districts have a "disproportionate percentage of students needing special educational services." She urged the Legislature to grant a special 5.75% cost-of-living allowance to the urban school districts.
"A cost-of-living increase in this amount is vitally important to offer quality educational programs for our students and to continue our educational reform efforts," Reid said.
Nineteen school districts in the state, including Santa Ana, are classified as "urban." Those districts compose the Assn. of California Urban School Districts.
Urban school districts have a 69.9% higher concentration of non-English-speaking students and a 63% higher concentration of students receiving welfare, she said.
In Santa Ana, 47.7% of the students have limited English skills, the highest percentage in the state, she said. Additionally, 18% of Santa Ana's students are from families with incomes below the poverty income.
Santa Ana is the only Orange County school district classified as "urban." Other Southern California school districts in this category include Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pomona and San Diego.