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A complaint was filed on Tuesday on behalf of Children's Defense Fund-CA, Latinos in Action and parents against Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) claiming the district is violating state law by misallocating more than $40 million of state education funding that is specifically designed to improve services for low-income students, foster youths, homeless students and English learners.
The complaint, filed by Public Advocates, Inc., asserts that LBUSD is not meeting the promise of equity in the new school funding law known as Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by failing to increase and improve services for the high-need students who generate additional funds for the district called "supplemental and concentration" grants. Instead, the district has approved allocations for everyday basic instructional services that do not specially address the neediest populations, including $17 million in Common Core instructional materials, $2.5 million for technology infrastructure, and $21.4 million in teacher and staff salary increases and benefits districtwide.
"We know what high needs students can and do achieve when they have the targeted academic and social-emotional supports they need from administrators, teachers and staff at their schools," said Angelica Salazar, senior policy associate for CDF-CA. "Districts will give these students more of a chance by spending equity funds on programs and services they often need, such as intensive academic enrichment, assistance with transportation to and from school, support from mental health professionals, and coaching for teachers on how to eliminate implicit racial bias that impacts academics and school climate."
Approximately 70 percent of LBUSD students are high needs.
Latinos in Action, a community-based organization, and two parents are also listed as complainants. Guadalupe Luna, who currently has three children in the district; and Marina Roman Sanchez has two sons in Long Beach schools. Both parents are appalled by the district's actions or lack thereof as it relates to high needs students.
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