Podcast: Adventures in Ed Funding

Join us as we journey through the surprisingly fascinating world of schools, money, and California's future.

This series is for everyone who works in and around education -- plus anyone who wants to learn more about what drives the most important institutions in every local community: our public schools.

From local educators, students, parents, and administrators -- to education advocates, researchers and capitol insiders -- we seek out the perspectives and stories of those who have had a hand in shaping school funding, and all those who are touched by it.

19 Mar

Complex. Mystifying. These words are often used to describe education funding -- and yet, funding is the crucial ingredient to ensure our public school system meets the needs of all students, families and society. This series is for everyone who works in and around education -- plus anyone who wants to learn more about what drives the most important institutions in every local community: our public schools.

03 Apr

In this episode we explore early financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on California schools: What should we know, what should we be planning for, and what might the road ahead look like? There are both some optimistic and sobering stops along the way.

27 Mar

California’s public school districts are rising to the challenge of providing students with much-needed meals during the COVID-19 crisis.

20 Mar

In less than two weeks, nearly all school districts and schools in California have closed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These closures impact six million students and their families, plus hundreds of thousands of educators, school and district staff, and leaders. Moreover, school closures deeply affect our local communities. 

20 Mar

Sadly, we have a crisis on our hands -- locally, across the state and nation, and globally -- as we work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The magnitude of, and speed at which, we find ourselves in this new circumstance is hard to fathom. The road ahead is largely uncharted. 

06 Apr

How can it be that many California school districts are staring into the face of painful budget cuts, even as overall school funding has increased in recent years? Why isn’t more funding available in many districts for priorities such as hiring additional counselors, teachers and staff and adding programs for students? It’s an unusual situation one researcher called, “The Silent Recession” – and it’s the subject of this episode's adventure.  

23 Mar

Why is California's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) so significant? In this episode, we continue our journey through major milestones in school funding history with our first stop to LCFF-land. Special Guest Saa’un Bell, Strategy Director at Californians for Justice, helps us explore why the state’s shift to an equity-based system beginning in 2013 was so historic.

19 Mar

How did California slide into such a deep school funding hole, and how can we climb our way back up? These are among the questions we take on in this latest adventure with special guest Gary Hart. 

As a former state legislator, longtime Senate Education Committee Chair, and Secretary of Education, Gary offers the critical perspective of someone who was “inside the Capitol building” during a truly pivotal time in the early life of Ed Funding.

19 Mar

The Proposition 13 (2020) School Facilities Bond will help ensure that students across the state have access to safe, healthy and modern learning environments.

On March 3, California voters have an important opportunity to pass this statewide school bond measure. It provides critically needed resources for renovating and building schools in districts throughout the state. Proposition 13 (2020) includes significant funding for K-12 schools, plus the University of California system, California State Universities and the California Community Colleges.

19 Mar

Would California schools actually be better off if Proposition 98 had never come into being? Why is it still so important to understand? And where do we go from here to fulfill the initiative’s promise of bringing state spending per student to the top ten among states? 

On this show, we’re big believers in the axiom that to get where you want to go, you need to understand where you’ve been. That’s why we’re making a special journey this episode into the recent history of school funding in California. Think of these as Ed Funding’s formative years. 

19 Mar

Journey with us to California’s Inland Empire as we consider this foundational question: What do school districts spend their funding on? Special guest Rich De Nava, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, helps us explore where schools devote their money. Hint: the vast majority is spent on people. 

19 Mar

In our inaugural episode, Guest Samantha Tran from Children Now, a statewide nonprofit organization, takes us through a study comparing a typical California high school to similar schools in two other states that invest more per student than California. What the study found, she says, was jarring.

Public school students in California don’t have the same types of experiences and opportunities that kids in most other states do. 


Adventures in Ed Funding

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