Monday, April 14, 2014

SFUSD - NO CONFIDENCE IN THE WEIGHTED STUDENT FORMULA


The Weighted Student Formula (WSF) was designed to distribute funding to schools based upon per pupil needs and the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was intended to provide the funding for districts to do just that. So you have to wonder why SFUSD, an early adopter of the WSF, has decided not to use it as a means to distribute LCFF's supplemental and concentration grants, only the base grant. (I will tell you the reason shortly.) I naturally assumed that the Board of Education was going to revise the formula to account for the increased funding to the targeted groups, FRPM, LEP and foster children. But according to Guadalupe Guerrero, Deputy Superintendent of whatever, SFUSD has decided to forego inclusion of the two grants into the WSF.

For those of you  I've gotten ahead of, LCFF divides education funding into  base, supplemental and concentration grants. The base grant provides the foundational money to run the schools. The supplemental grant is for low SES students, English learners and foster kids. The concentration grant targets the  same populations but adds more funding (unduplicated) for every eligible student in excess 55% of the district.

Back to the story. We have a district dedicated to serving its underserved populations and the WSF was implemented by Arlene Ackerman for that purpose. It is widely hailed as a forward thinking reform and many districts across the country have adopted it. So why  isn't SFUSD using the formula to roll out the implementation of LCFF? There's only one possible answer. The leadership wants to hold the purse strings to these funds to use as it deems appropriate. If SFUSD were to roll it into the WSF, the money would be distributed automatically according to need - the whole idea behind LCFF. But that would also mean Superintendent Zone schools would only receive whatever LCFF funding was due them via the WSF and the leaders wouldn't be able to fund their special project to the level they'd like. (It should be remembered that not all funds are distributed through LCFF's three grants. Some state and all federal funding is still categorical and this money will continue to flow separately.)

The decision by SFUSD also raises the issue of compliance with the LCAP - the Local Control Accountability Plan. This is the accountability portion of the LCFF law . Among other things, it requires districts to get input from the community and to incorporate that input into their district plan. So why has SFUSD already decided not to include the supplemental and concentration grants in the Weighted Student Formula even before it gets the feedback from the community?

Again, that is not hard to figure out. The community engagement process is just a dog and pony show this district puts on to comply with the State law. To illustrate my point, I attended the first LCAP community meeting last Saturday. The meeting was scheduled from 9 am to 11:30. At 11:00 they were only beginning to get the input from the attendees and the meeting went only 5 minutes overtime. The whole first two hours were taken up by speeches by the Superintendent and his functionaries and some people from Parents for Public Schools - the sponsor of the event.  Much of it had nothing to do with the LCAP. Among other unrelated topics, I even ended up voting to reelect the board of PPSSF, an organization of which I'm not a member and decided to forgo nominating myself under the circumstances.  I could go on about the so-called LCAP community forum, but suffice is to say, it was a pointless exercise brought to you by the public relations arm that is in essence the soul of SFUSD.

24 comments:

AB said...

Is anyone surprised?

I excerpted the following statement from a Q/A document on SFUSD prepared on the subject which clearly telegraphs the Districts intent to focus on specific groups at the expense of overall academic achievement:


Q: Will funding go to serve students who need the most help to succeed in school?
A: Yes, even more. With the LCFF SFUSD will start to receive more funds specifically to support services for low-income, English-learning students, and foster youth. Under LCFF, this extra funding will come from Supplemental and Concentration grants. As pioneers in site-based budgeting, SFUSD has been allocating more funds to schools that serve English learners and low-income students for over a decade by using a system called the Weighted Student Funding (WSF) formula. With the LCFF, we will continue to designate more resources for services and programs that serve our highest-need students.


(full Q/A at: http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/about-SFUSD/files/lcff-faq.pdf)

Don Krause said...

The LCFF requires that supplemental and concentration grant funding go to the three groups. So to that extent SFUSD cannot be faulted. However... there is no limitation on the use of base grant which is for "any educational purpose". The question then is how much of that foundational grant will be used in a disproportionate manner. SFUSD should be able to add to the services for compensatory education compared to last year, but if we see a funding scheme where some schools get huge increases above and beyond their supplemental and concentration grant share it will follow that the other schools will see less increase. People can argue over what's fair and that debate has already gone viral statewide. But it is no longer a state issue. The districts are in control now and instead of fighting Sacramento we're fighting city hall (555 Franklin).

Anonymous said...

Why don't you ever have something nice to say about the hardworking people working tirelessly for the sake of our students?

Don Krause said...

This blog is dedicated to exposing the side of SFUSD that the media ignores. I appreciate that there are many hardworking people who work there.

Do you have anything to say about the fact that Carranza and Co. do not want to be transparent about how they spend LCFF grants? Anything?

Siobhan said...

One might also consider that this blog can hardly be considered to be hostile to the interests of those teachers and schools who may be getting shortchanged. Discussing distribution of funds to different programs or in different proportions in no way devalues or attacks the educators who are implementing (or who would implement) said programs. Many teachers might think saying "you should give them more money" *is* saying something nice about the value of their hard work.

Don Krause said...

I missed stating the crucial point of this thread. There are more underperforming students outside rather than inside the Superintendent Zones. By allocating all three grants through the WSF all students will be guaranteed the funding that is due them according their weighting and regardless of which school attended. But if SFUSD retains the supplemental and concentration grants so as to be distributed on a discretionary basis, that would imply the district does not want to allocate the funding to every pupil by weighting. So then what is the purpose of the WSF since it was set up to do just that? And how can SFUSD hold itself up to be a model of equity-based funding if it won't guarantee every low SES, LEP or foster student the amount each deserves according to the LCFF law?

Anonymous said...

Why do you assume, Don, the school district won't give the students what their due? Do you have a reason to believe that or is this another knife in the side of a district intent on doing its best?

AB said...

@5:55 SFUSD says they " will continue to designate more resources for services and programs that serve our highest-need students" but by 'opting out' of WSF they clearly signal their intention to distribute funds in a different yet to be determined manner. The District has, in the past few years, directed significant funds to Superintendent Zone Schools with limited results - an unequal distribution. Past behavior (unequal funding distribution) plus recent statements are a strong predictor of future behavior.

I guess the question is if not WSF - then what? Do we have to wait for budgets in June to find out?

It would be interesting to see what would happen if SIG type dollars went to the under-performing schools outside Superintendent zones.

Anonymous said...

Is this the thing where they pretend all teachers get the same salary for accounting purposes even if they don't? If so that's lying and it's a sin. Is this the thing or is that another thing?

Don Krause said...

That is a completely separate issue. This post is about how SFUSD will allocate the millions in S and C grants to the low SES (FRPM), the LEP and foster students. They could do so by WSF or they could approach it on a case per case basis. The latter approach allows them to pick funding winners and losers and is not equitable. The former way ensures that all qualified students get the funding intended in the law.

Don Krause said...

Also, the issue of the averaging of teacher salaries as part of site-based budgeting (different subject than WSF) is a red herring.

UESF wanted and agreed to the averaging of salaries for accounting purposes for a number of reasons. But the most important point is that this method does not short-change some schools or subsidize others any more than it did before site- based budgeting. Though budgets are site-based the reality is that salaries are obligations and they are not discretionary, but collectively bargained. That means the school did not have control over salaries before or after the advent of site-based budgeting. Salaries are neutralized so they are not part of the equation of a school budget in practical terms. Besides the privacy issues surrounding site-based budgets without equalized salary reporting, imagine what would happen if site councils had to lay off teachers because it budget couldn't keep up with COLA or as a result of cutbacks?

Because a school might have a lower salary cost does not mean the district has a lower cost. If a staff of cheaper teachers meant having more money left over to hire more teachers, every school would try to lay off veteran staff to lower class sizes.

You get a sense of why the union would be opposed to having that sort of market-based system.

Anonymous said...

Has the union ever supported what's best for children? When they backed Berndt, they lost the right to be taken seriously. They back everyone and make it impossible to fire bad teachers, or so cost-prohibitive no one bothers. If people knew the truth about seniority and costs, they might not be so enamored of LIFO. In fact, over 70% of Californians oppose LIFO.

Anonymous said...

Berndt went to prison for 25 years what else do you want? The union defends everyone. They had to prove it, they did, he's in prison, he'll probably never be free again. The real sexual abuse comes from the corporate tech. CEOs taking over the Mission with their Death Star Buses! I had a girl today and I advised her, your friend would have been proud, to turn off the TV while she does her homework and reads. She's a Latina and likes reading. She told me her brother plays the TV loud, but her brother is younger than her. I told her to tell him to turn it off, this was a week ago. Yesterday she came in crying with a bruise on her face. I asked her what happened and she said her mom slapped her because she turned off the TV to read and she heard her mom in her room with a guy she'd never seen before making noise like he was hurting her. She asked if she was OK and her mom told her to turn on the TV. I asked the mom about this today and she told me times are tough and she'd rather take on a guy or two than sleep in her car again, and she said she was homeless for a month last year and is behind on rent now.

Then she told me to stop giving stupid advice to her daughter and if I ever asked her embarassing questions again, she'd either beat me down herself or have someone else do it. She said I was "getting in her personal business" and I "only get one warning." this woman is over 30 years younger than me. Then she punched one of my kids' desks and broke part of it. No I didn't have a camera or recorder.

Gee Don, how charming!

How wonderful!

Poverty makes it difficult.

We should confiscate all housing and provide free rent for all, and food and medical. It's ridiculous what rents the elites are charging, usually the same people paying themselves so much as CEOs that 95% of the economic growth since 2008 has gone to the top 1%, then they're piling it on by raising rents 15% a year. Scumbag rapists!

Rich white men are responsible for 99% of what's wrong with this country. If they weren't so selfish and perverted we would have a chance of teaching children in poverty. Men leave women, other men abuse women.

How can she teach her daughter to trust men? One man left her and doesn't pay child support, another is trying to evict her and a third is using her desperation for his own nefarious perverted means. It's just disgusting! Women would never behave this way! Now I'm afraid to even talk to this girl and encourage her but I'm also afraid not to. If I tell social services, she goes to foster care and probably gets molested and ends up homeless or on drugs, if I do nothing she stays poor and has a horrible childhood, if I try to help her I risk a beating or death by a psycho.

We need to love our fellow human beings not abuse them. This City and country is becoming insane. Why can't a Google gazillionaire just help a poor woman out of the goodness of his heart rather than using her plight to sexually use and abuse her? Why can't a landlord get by on 2% increases a year? What's wrong with what we've become?

Phooey!

Don Krause said...

I suppose this is my fault because I'm white.

Anonymous said...

It's clearly not one person's fault, but I agree with Phooey's point and appreciate her trying to instill Asian study habits into this Latina girl. She's trying to do the right thing but undermined by a harsh reality.

The mother clearly is mistaken. If she wants to do this she should have a basement bedroom or do it when her kids are asleep or in the day time or while her kids are in afterschool care for 3 hours, which is free at most of the rough schools. She clearly is desperate and just taking any John she can get as opposed to many women who do this to avoid homelessness responsibly, clearly this is common which is why female homelessness is very rare.

I doubt this guy is a dot com gazillionaire probably just a guy desperate because most women reject men who aren't highly successful, if he made more he'd probably be married and probably makes not great money and doesn't pay a huge amount. This stereotype comes from New York where this is part of the Wall Street Culture, Wolf of Wall Street, but it's not only rich here. It should be legal and kept secret from children.

Maybe you can encourage her to read in the afterschool program or get tutors for her. There are so many programs. I agree calling social services sadly usually makes things worse.

However when you blame only white men, you conveniently forget her husband or baby daddy who is Latino and refuses to pay legally mandated child support and her landlord who is probably Asian or Italian. He's not blameless here.

I agree that the top 1% using their control of corporations and legal framework to create a situation in which they got 95% of the GDP increase since 2008 when we already had an inequality problem before that and should have been looking for ways to move in the opposite direction instead is an outrage and may spell the end of capitalism as we know it and lead to a revolution or an electoral revolution. If someone beats Hilary from the left in the primaries, we will have France/Sweden style socialsm beginning in 2017. We may need it because the rich can't be trusted anymore to have restraint or be honest. They surely don't believe they deserve 95% of the GDP increase but they have accepted it and organized it via corrupting the process and system. I believe that will be a historic mistake.

Don the only part that is or is not your fault is as whites, we should vote for policy which is fair. Obviously the richare abusing their power. Maybe it would be fair to raise significant inheritance taxes on high net worth estates, go back to very progressive taxes, and have rent control even when housing units change hands based on average income. No one should be able to charge over 3000 for a 2 BR apartment that's ridiculous. Landlords and CEOs are milking it and often using the same money they get from abusing their control of salaries or drastically increasing rents to have sexual access to desperate women who have no other means of self support which leads to stress, tension, drug abuse, violence, and other distractions from teaching kids good study habits.

It's a hard dilemma. I do agree kids should study hard but I also believe the rich have taken advantage and whites who have had advantages should stand with people of color to significantly and drastically redistribute wealth, guarantee higher minimum wage, limit rents, maybe take over more government control of the housing sector, etc. We really need drastic government action to stop the rich from this abuse which is limiting the ability of the poor to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I have to admit Phooey has a point.

Anonymous said...

That's socialism. That's un-American.

Anonymous said...

America can be socialist, or laissez faire, we're a democracy. We decide. If there are more poor than rich, they can vote to confiscate their wealth. In the past the rich have had some restraint and economic growth has been enough to rise all boats. If the rich start being corrupt and can't convince the rest of us letting them stay rich benefits us all, we can all vote to tax them more, inheritance, income, VAT, even wealth. It's our choice. Knowing this, I'm surprised the rich too 95% of the growth in a tough recovery and shipped jobs overseas. However, it looks like they will raise minimum wage to 10.10 within a year which will probably be enough to prevent truly confiscatory taxes, in my prediction.

In my opinion, no more than 1% of the wealth increase should go to the top 1%, they already have so much, we should track it and adjust taxes if they take too much. It's cruel.

Anonymous said...

This is getting way off topic. Phooey, I understand your point but I think this is the bottom 2% of kids, this isn't the primary cause of the achievement gap. We can debate that, hours studied, teacher quality, IQ, school quality, resources available to help, parenting quality. But we aren't arguing about socialism or taxes or minimum wage. We hope more kids can not have to be on minimum wage at all even if it improves it will always by definition be below average.

Don Krause said...

There is something called the Constitution, Phooey. Please stay on the topic, more or less.

Why won't SFUSD use the weighted student formula to allocate funding fairly to students? This reform was heralded as a truly equitable per pupil funding mechanism. So why won't SFUSD use it. Because they want to keep control in the central office for their pet projects and low performing students outside the Superintendent Zones will suffer as a result. Phooey, you pray at the alter of Richard Carranza, so do you agree he should be able to choose who gets the money even though it was allocated to SFUSD based upon a per pupil count of the three targeted groups? Stick to the subject and spare us your socialist dogma for one minute.

Anonymous said...

So Don, do you still feel everything is wonderful and fair and the whites in Pacific Heights aren't racist? What about this 80-year old racist redneck? He gets to have $1.9 billion and they fine him $2.5 Million, peanuts, a sneeze, barely a thousandth of his net worth. This beautiful, spiritual, wonderful woman of the earth may face charges for bringing out the honest truth of racism in this country, this African and Mexican/Native woman who suffered untold indignities and was repeatedly raped by this man due to lack of opportunities, this old shriveled Donald Sterling with a smelly small penis and a hateful cruel racist mind who couldn't give an orgasm to a jackal and humliates and disgusts beautiful earthy women of the people who fight for civil rights and have no other way to survive in a white man's racist, sexist, rapey world. What abuse! He's having sex with her and at the same time doesn't want her to take pictures with or bring to the game people of her own race or races, wants her to be a token of his slaveholding rape and abuse, a show of his racism, that he gets to have evil abusive sex which is no pleasure to her with a beautiful, wonderful woman of the planet for his devilish, horrid perverted sick fantasies and show it off to the world while his wife cringes in the corner. White men are still abusing the world! It is just one example of the abuse! If you suggest kids go to school with blacks and Latinos as equals, well that's unthinkable, let's move or go to a private school, maybe a token who knows not to take pictures with other black people or bring them to the school or sass back or argue and knows their place is to pretend to be educated (stats show blacks don't do well in white private schools) and be there to be in the picture smiling at massah. While Donald Sterling and his white minions of the ruling classes rape their cousins and mothers and sisters and daughters while they cry in shame and voimit in disgust at the old disgusting pervert they must submit to to survive in a horrible recession in which 95% of the GDP has gone to the top 1%. Oh, we'll give you a little, if you submit to my perversions as a "sugar baby" or "whore/house slave".

Donald Sterling proves it. Racism is still the M.O. in California and everywhere. It's disgusting and we must all fight back!

Phooey!

Anonymous said...

Phooey, no one here supports Donald Sterling, least of all Don. You need to cut back on the caffeine! You're way off topic!

Don Krause said...

I don't think that being off-topic quite captures the nature of Phooey's comment unless off-topic means being a stark-raving lunatic. Can you imagine this person as your child's elementary teacher? I shudder at the thought. It is enough to drive anyone screaming for the exit from public schools.

Anonymous said...

Can we talk about a new subject. This is just disturbing. From what Phooey has said she doesn't teach anyone who can afford private schools. That's the problem, you're proposing a solution which causes inequality, if you propose a solution only some can afford, it adds to racism and plays into her hands, it's not the stuff equal opportunity are made of, we need a solution which is firing bad teachers, and tutoring. Screaming and running sounds liberal but it's conservative because it is limited to those with resources, it's not available to all. It leads to unfairness and inequality. That's what Campos is talking about, we don't want two San Franciscoes, we want one, every child deserves a competent teacher.

Anonymous said...

PPS is a bunch of bozos who caused Prop H to lose. You should have voted against them.