As Gov. Jerry Brown pushes his proposal to give school districts more flexibility in how they use state education funding, he is finding himself at odds with members of his own party.
State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge), chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, wants the state to retain some control over education money that is currently earmarked for specific programs.
On Wednesday, the committee backed her legislation to extend the existing system of so-called categorical funding, which is set to expire next year. The bill, SB 223, would require districts to apply for flexibility, receive approval from the state superintendent and demonstrate progress in student achievement. Liu described her proposal as an accountability measure.
Brown’s plan, on the other hand, would eliminate dozens of state requirements for many programs, such as remediation and new technology, and instead allocate more money to districts with no strings attached.