Alhambra School Board will consider Thursday evening how thousands of new dollars per student that California schools are eligible to receive should be allocated. In order to qualify for the new funding, the district had to collaborate with community members to determine how the money is spent. Alhambra Unified School District administered a survey to evaluate what students, parents, and school officials required to meet the needs of all of those involved in the public schooling system. AUSD posted the results of their survey and the board will consider the results.
Governor Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will allocate more funding to schools with high-needs students, such as low-income, English learners, and foster youth. The formula should provide $7,341 per student to the Alhambra Unified School District in the 2013-2014 school year. These grants include additional funding for serving high-needs students, who are 77% of the district’s 18,024 students, according to the Association of California School Administrators. These funds will continue to grow, eventually reaching $11,602 per student by the 2020-2021 school year.
In order to receive full funding, school districts must meet accountability requirements from the state, which include prioritizing education goals and programs. This Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) required districts to list, in order of importance, eight priorities set by the state: student achievement, engagement, outside test scores, parental involvement, course access, school climate, use of technology, and the implementation of the new Common Core standards. Districts must also seek out feedback from teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community members.
One thousand one hundred and nineteen people responded to an LCAP survey, nearly half of whom were students followed by CERT staff members. Parents, classroom staff, community members, and AUSD management also participated.
In order to strengthen student achievement, 32 percent of survey participants answered increasing student or teacher support was crucial. Achievement is measured by factors including performance on standardized tests, academic performance, percent of English Learners who become English proficient.
Thirty five percent of respondents suggested that increasing parent meetings, education and training would be the best way to strengthen parental involvement. Parental involvement includes parent input and parental participation in the school district.
In order to strengthen access to courses for all students including those who come from a nontraditional background, offering more courses received 30 percent of the responses. “Other Student Outcomes,” which measures student performance through exams, career internships, and the amount of students enrolled in outreach classes and/or AP classes, had results scattered between 615 percent among the nine possible categories. Improving tutoring and support services led with 15 percent.
“Implementation of common core standards” addresses how programs and services will enable English learners to access common core academic content standards and the English Language Development standards. This category was the only area where over half (51 percent) responded in favor of the same answer – training for staff, parents, and students.
Strengthening Student Engagement, as measured by attendance and dropout rates, and strengthening School Climate, as measured by suspension, expulsion rates and other safety measures, elicited responses for more opportunities for students to participate in school and building school/district/community relationships. The final category, Basic Services, which addresses appropriate teacher assignment, sufficient instructional materials, and facilities in good repair had participants note that more technology, books and materials would help with 23 percent in support of this.
The full results can be found on the district’s website and down below.
A meeting will be held Thursday, May 22 at 5pm in the board room at 1515 W. Mission Road to discuss the findings from the LCAP survey and how the findings will be addressed. The public is invited to attend and residents may arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to write down a question that the board will address during this meeting.