During COVID-19, The State Promised Not To Cut Funding For Shrinking Schools. But What About Growing Schools?: LAist

An example of what an L.A. Unified School District classroom could look like if campuses reopen. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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In normal times, the basic rule of California public school funding is simple: when a student attends a school, that school gets paid to educate them.

Back in June, state lawmakers suspended that rule, voting to freeze schools’ funding at last year’s levels for the rest of this year. They figured the last thing schools with declining enrollments needed during the COVID-19 crisis was less money.

But what about schools with enrollments that are rising? The state budget’s “hold-harmless” provisions could deny more than $500 million in funding to these growing schools and districts, according to an estimate from a group of

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The Education Gap Was Shrinking Before Covid-19

a young girl using a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Not as easy as it looks.

© Photographer: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Not as easy as it looks.

(Bloomberg Opinion) — As students head back to school — virtually or in-person — parents are legitimately concerned about the effects on children of distance learning. Evidence on how children fall behind over summer breaks suggests that the harm from missing in-person instruction will be larger for low-income children, exacerbating educational gaps across socioeconomic status. A bit of good news comes from an important new analysis suggesting that, prior to the pandemic and contrary to popular perception, those gaps had been narrowing in the U.S.

From kindergarten to college, schools are balancing pandemic risk against educational need with wildly varying approaches to in-person classes, virtual instruction, mask-wearing, and keeping students in bubbles. For schools with extensive online learning, the question is how much it might weaken educational performance.

The best guide is probably what happens over summers: Researchers have

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