The fight to better support students in California’s juvenile court and county community schools continues
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 26, 2023) – The California School Boards Association (CSBA), California County Superintendents and the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) sponsored Assembly Bill 906 (Gipson, D–Los Angeles) to stabilize and increase funding for students in juvenile court and county community schools — students who are underserved by the current funding model. Those needs are as urgent as ever, but AB 906 will not be heard this session, instead returning in 2024 when the sponsors will seek passage of the legislation as a two-year bill. In the meantime, CSBA, California County Superintendents and LACOE will continue to advocate for greater support of students in juvenile court and county community schools through the education budget trailer bill process.
"Students in our juvenile court and community schools are some of California's most vulnerable,” said CSBA President Susan Markarian. “AB 906 offers urgently needed relief for these students and we will continue to fight for its provisions on two fronts, both in the state budget and through the legislative process. We will not waver in our determination to establish a more substantial, stable and equitable funding methodology for these high-need students.”
“We remain committed to advocating for equitable funding for our juvenile court and county community school programs,” said Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo, who is also President of the California County Superintendents. “The decades-long funding inadequacy in our juvenile court and county community school system is harming the educational opportunities for our students, and we owe it to them to keep fighting to fix this so they may receive every available resource to help them be successful.”
The volatility presented by an exclusively attendance-based funding model produces unintended consequences. The drawbacks are especially severe for county office of education-operated juvenile court and county community schools that educate a different and higher-need population than mainstream schools run by local school districts. Research shows students perform better when they are rapidly reintegrated from court and county community schools, which strive to facilitate the return of students to their home schools as quickly as possible. These brief stays create financial volatility because funding is based on the number of days students attend. Since the length of the stay is unpredictable, the funding is as well. These wildly varying funding levels hamper the ability of county offices of education to plan for and provide needed educational and supportive resources for students.
AB 906 remedies this problem by establishing a base funding level, a stabilized funding methodology and increased resources that allow juvenile court and county community schools to more equitably serve their high-need population.
CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.