LCFF funding difference for Clovis Unified compared to its neighbors is $2,000 less per student.
Kids in Clovis Unified have a lot of advantages. But caring teachers, world-class schools and facilities, and many performing art and athletics opportunities often disguise a little-known disadvantage to Clovis Unified students: California’s per-pupil school funding formula.
Because the state funnels money to schools based on the socio-economic need of the community within an entire school district, Clovis Unified receives fewer dollars per student than any other district in the area. (Please see comparison chart on Page 6 if January's CUSD Today)
When California changed its 40-year-old funding formula in 2013, it began dividing dollars between school districts based on varying levels of qualifying students (low income, homeless, English learners and foster youth).
More than 43.27 percent of Clovis Unified students – that’s roughly 18,000 children – are considered qualifying students. It’s a number that would be considered extremely high in any other state in the nation, but is lower than other Fresno County school districts. This difference creates a significant funding divide.
State funding, in the form of the Local Control Funding Formula, consists of three parts: base grant, supplemental grant and concentration grant.
The first is the base grant amount, a set amount per student that all school districts receive to pay for classroom instruction and support, such as textbooks, supplies, technology, utilities and transportation.
Supplemental dollars are then provided to all districts based on their number of qualifying students. Districts receive $1,578 per qualifying student.
Concentration dollars are then provided to school districts when their qualifying students exceed 55 percent of the total students. Clovis Unified, at 43.27 percent, does not receive these additional funds.
This financial disadvantage causes our business team and all departments to maximize efficiency and work hard to provide more with less. It creates an entrepreneurial business approach to delivering education to students.
Recognizing the challenge created by California’s new funding formula, Clovis Unified led the creation of a statewide coalition of school districts who continue to actively work in Sacramento to ensure that base funding for schools is adequate to meet increasing operating costs.
We are and will continue to be committed to meeting this challenge and are grateful for the community partnerships and support that help us bridge this gap.