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State Senate Bill Would Save Jobs Here

See the bill text.

In a quest to become more efficient and save jobs here, the Long Beach Unified School District is sponsoring a new bill in the California Legislature.

The bill, recently introduced by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, would relax spending restrictions on state funds for three eligible districts, including LBUSD, as part of a pilot program.  The added flexibility would begin in 2011 and run through 2014.

Some state funding sources for education, known as categorical funds, are earmarked for specific purposes.  While the state recently loosened some of those restrictions in light of ongoing cuts to education, the new bill would eliminate all existing restrictions on categorical funds, providing greater freedom to LBUSD.

The added flexibility would allow the school district to take surplus funds from some programs and redirect them to other areas where the need is greater.  The flexibility could also allow the district to reallocate funds to reduce the need for layoffs.

In return for the extra flexibility, eligible districts would have to agree to accountability measures.  Those measures include showing significant academic progress, submitting reports to state authorities and linking the superintendent's evaluation to student performance goals.

In LBUSD, the superintendent’s evaluation already is linked to measurable academic goals.

Supporters of the proposed legislation include the District Community Advisory Committee (parents at Title I schools), District English Learner Advisory Committee (parents of English learners), Superintendent’s Parent Forum (parents throughout the district), Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Academic Uprise, Centro Community Hispanic Association (Centro CHA), Long Beach Community Improvement League, Long  Beach NAACP, Long Beach Ministerial Alliance, Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College, and The New City School (charter organization).