Levine Calls for Full Funding of K-12 Education by Eliminating Average Daily Attendance

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Furthering his commitment to fully fund K-12 education in California, Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) today introduced legislation to eliminate the state’s decades old average daily attendance (ADA) funding formula and replace it with funding based upon student enrollment.

AB 2646, would end an outdated funding formula that has diverted billions of dollars away from K-12 classrooms and forced school districts to spend limited resources reporting attendance, rather than increasing enrichment in the classroom. Levine’s measure would provide critical stable school funding that reflects the true and fixed costs of K-12 education including teacher and classified employee salaries and benefits, facility maintenance, textbooks and evolving technology needs in the classroom.

Education leaders in Levine’s North Bay district praised the proposal.
“Providing quality instruction to Marin County’s 40,000 students takes more than the dedication of our teachers, staff and parents – it takes resources,” said Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools. “I am proud to support Assemblymember Levine’s AB 2646 and thank him for his leadership to make increased education funding a priority.”

"I applaud Assemblymember Marc Levine for introducing this bill to eliminate the 40-year-old school funding formula based on average daily attendance and replace it with one that is based on enrollment and reported each school semester," said Dr. Steve Herrington, Sonoma County superintendent of schools. "This common sense legislation will allow California's public schools to receive increased state funding for student instruction and greatly assist our districts in financial planning and stability."

During the 2009-2010 school year, traditional public schools in San Diego County alone lost at least $102 million in state funding because of student absences. Between 2005 and 2010, that figure totaled $624 million. Statewide, this figure grows to billions of dollars that never made it to the classroom.

“It is time to fully invest in California’s K-12 education system and end the punitive practice of tying school funding to student attendance,” said Assemblymember Levine. “California’s current ADA funding system harms school districts throughout the state – especially in urban and rural communities. While we should continue our work to reduce and address the root causes of truancy, we must stop penalizing teachers and students by withholding school funding based upon attendance. Our students deserve every resource available to them to ensure their success in the classroom. AB 2646 will affirm our commitment to fully fund K-12 education and give schools the funding they need for students to be successful in the 21st century.”

AB 2646 will be considered by the State Assembly this spring.

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