A school funding flexibility bill initiated by the Long Beach Unified School District has cleared the state Senate by a 35-0 vote and will head to the Assembly.
LBUSD partnered with State Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) to introduce the bill, SB 1396, as a way to mitigate ongoing, multi-billion-dollar cuts in state funding for education. The school district also hopes to use the legislation to save jobs here, as hundreds of LBUSD teachers and other employees face layoffs for next school year.
SB 1396 relaxes regulations on the spending of "categorical funds," which are allocated via strict state funding formulas that earmark dollars for specific educational programs.
School districts have long argued that because of the inflexibility regarding the use of these funds, public schools cannot efficiently manage their resources. The proposed legislation would create a pilot program with stringent accountability measures.