Cuts to the federal education budget take aim at “ineffective” programs but some cuts to education slice close to Los Alamaitos Unified School District.
Under the current crazy quilt school funding program for the State of California, Los Alamitos Unifed School District (LAUSD) is running a structural deficit. That means it doesn’t receive enough funding from the State of California to meet its operating budgets.
For many school districts, that gap is bridged using local funding, calculated arcanely but based on the number of low-income students served by the district. Some districts, like Santa Ana, get a lot of money this way. Other districts, like Los Alamitos, do not. Whatever money is received goes into the district’s general fund, to be spent as the district sees fit.
Another source of income for Los Alamitos Unified School District is “Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property.” That program looks at land taken up by military bases, figures out how much money a school district might receive if that land were instead populated by tax-paying residents, and grants money to the district to make up somewhat for the difference.
In the case of LAUSD, Impact Aid does not cover the structural deficit but lack of Impact Aid would certainly worsen the structural deficit.
“Skinny budget”cuts Impact Aid
The just-released proposed budget from the Trump Administration asks for $9 billion in cuts to the Department of Education while increasing funding for “school choice.”
Paul Crookston, in discussing the proposed cuts, lists Impact Aid as on the block. He says in conclusion:
It should be noted that Trump is staying the course on many socially conscious aspects of the Education Department’s role; students with disabilities aren’t losing anything, nor are historically black colleges or minority-serving institutions. By targeting programs deemed ineffective, Trump can argue that these budget cuts aren’t hurting anyone in need, while the issues he campaigned on get the money he always said they should. Presidents often propose tough scrutiny of federal expenditures, but this plan shows Trump taking another step toward fulfilling that goal.
If our local Congressman Lowenthal can gather himself together after the attack on the flag outside his office, perhaps he can look into preserving a program that could mean the difference between many pink slips issued to LAUSD personnel and fewer pink slips.
Or we could try to arouse our local State legislators to twiddle with state funding of schools — again. Perhaps Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva, instead of looking to make community colleges free, might look into seeing that excellent school districts like LAUSD are not punished merely because of their demographics.