Editor’s note: This has been excerpted with permission from the Pacific Research Institute. To read the entire report, click here.
As if they didn’t have enough to shocks in their lives already, Californians recently woke up to find that Governor Newsom and the Legislature had defunded schoolchildren in the state budget. But the children are now fighting back and suing the state to demand their fair share of funding for exercising their rights to learn in alternatives to the traditional public school monopoly.
The lawsuit centers around a recently enacted budget trailer bill, or legislation that is necessary to implement policy changes included in the state budget act. Often, trailer bills include priorities pushed by special interests. Last year, California Public Radio described some of the provisions in the trailer bills implementing Governor Newsom’s 2019-20 budget as “doozies.”
This year’s education trailer bill, SB 98, includes a particularly egregious “doozy.” The bill contains a provision that prevents funding from following children to the regular public or public charter school they plan to attend in the fall.
Based on court decisions and recent state education-funding overhauls, the rule in California has been that if a student moves from one school to another or enters the public school system, funding for that student follows the student to the new school and cannot be claimed by the student’s former school.
Such a rule makes logical sense, but logic is often the first victim in Sacramento.
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Lance Izumi is senior director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute.