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Angeles County | Communty News File / Torrance

School District Contests Formula for State Funding

April 29, 1998

The Torrance Unified School District has plummeted to the bottom of a list of state funding per pupil, according to financial data of districts in Los Angeles County for the 1996-97 academic year.

Torrance was ranked 44 out of 46 districts in the county in state funding per pupil. District officials said Torrance was ranked 39th in the 1995-96 school year.

For the 1996-97 year, Torrance received $4,496 per student. The Beverly Hills Unified School District, the top-ranking district, received $6,586 per student.

A complicated multifactored formula, which includes money each district receives for average daily attendance, is used in the equation. Torrance Supt. Arnold Plank has launched a campaign to change the formula because he feels his district has been shortchanged.

Kevin Condon, chief business officer for the district, said Torrance is having to spend even less money per student than it would like because the district is being forced to use those funds to repair facilities. An $80.5-million bond measure has been defeated three times over the last year.

"It's very distressing," Condon said. "Monies that may have gone to educational programs now need to go toward fixing a roof."

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