PYLUSD Lobbies California for Better Funding


Doug Schultz

The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Board of Education presents the “You Are The Advantage” award to Kim Mathews, Director of Special Programs and Career Technical Education at Santa Ana College. From left to right: Judi Carmona, Eric Padget, Kim Mathews, Karin Freeman, Carol Downey, Carrie Buck and Emily Drinkwine.

Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District school board trustees are asking the state of California to fund schools at the national average, or above by 2020, according to the OC Register.

“The Board would hope that our state legislature would take note and increase base-level funding for all districts in order to meet the demanding, increased costs that occur each year,” stated PYLUSD School Board Trustee Judith Carmona PYLUSD board PYLUSD School Board Trustee in an interview with the Matador Messenger.

Currently, state schools are funded at about $1,961 per-pupil less than the national average – or $3,462 per-pupil less when adjusted for California’s status as a “high-cost” state. California trails the average of the Top 10 states by almost $7,000 in per-pupil funding, according to  Jim Drummond of the OC Register.

“With increased funding, students would be able to see the continued progress we are making in the areas of technology and future-ready instruction, including new textbooks, computers, and other supportive technology as well as an emphasis on STEM and the Arts,” stated Carmona.

The state sits in the bottom ¼ of the nation “on nearly every measure of public K-12 school funding and school staffing,” states the “full and fair funding” resolution that originated with the California School Boards Association, that represents some 1,000 local school boards and county boards of education throughout the state, according to the OC Register.

Other California school districts  are expected to ask for increased funding later in the year. Placentia-Yorba Linda trustees Carrie Buck, Karin Freeman, and Robert Singer are representing North County school district boards on the association’s delegate assembly, according to the OC Register.

These numbers fail to represent the state, as California is the world’s sixth largest economy and has the largest gross domestic product of any state in the nation.

However, Association of Placentia Linda Educators (APLE)  President, Linda Manion, believes that she the answer. In an interview with the Matador Messenger, she stated, “California is funded under a model called the ‘Local Control Funding Formula.’ Under this formula, all school districts receive the same base funding, but additional revenue is allocated per school district based on the numbers of English Language Learners, the numbers of students on free and reduced lunches and foster children who attend school in that district. While PYLUSD does have about 37% of their students who fall into one of these categories, the percentage isn’t significant when compared with school districts like Santa Ana who have about 98%. Therefore, PYLUSD receives significantly less money than other districts.”

“PYLUSD school board and the Association of Placentia-Linda Educators are working together with other districts across the state to encourage our state legislature to modify the California funding model or, at the very least, increase the per district base funding,” explained Manion. “Changing the funding model would bring more revenue into each district and provide resources to ensure that every child receives the highest quality public education.”