Here are some interesting learning and informational websites concerning California Public Schools that you may find of interest. They are examples of the kind of tools and reporting that would be useful to the Petaluma community, School Administration and Teachers in making our schools the best they can be for all students.

Who Pays? Ed100 Learning Website

Who pays? Where do California School Funds come from? Every California school district has the very challenging task of budgeting for the school year on limited resources. It is the fiduciary responsibility of the School Board to make sure there is a balanced budget. That is a given, but how that money is allocated, and how that money is spent is at the crux of the problem. Oversight and planning should not be the responsibility of just the School Board, but should also include input from the community. An informed community and transparency from our elected officials is essential to good governance.

So how do we prepare ourselves to make a difference in our school district? There is an excellent learning website called Ed100, put out by Full Circle Fund, a non-profit think tank endorsed by the California PTA , among others.  The site provides free, self-paced online courses to help parents, teachers and community members to understand the complex California education system.  It will help you learn what you need to know to be informed, credible and ready for action. Each lesson takes about 5 minutes, in English or in Spanish.

So what about “Who Pays?” Check out the Lesson 8.3, Who Pays on their website to get a sense of how the website works. Or find out how the  LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula) works in Lesson 8.5. There are lessons not only about Allocations, but also on Students, Teachers, Class Time, the Education System and much more. So once at the website, feel free to bookmark the site and explore and learn at your leisure.

Transparency. Education does not end with High School. Go for it and become informed and involved in our wonderful community of Petaluma.

Ed-Data - General Fund Revenue by Source, 2016-17

For those of you are more interested in getting into the weeds of California School Fund, there is a website maintained by Ed-Data which aggregates, among other things, General Fund Revenue by Source by school year (the lasted from the 2016-17 school year) for all California Schools and Districts. It would be nice to have something similar to this on the Petaluma City School website that clearly summarized budget funding and expenditure in a clear, simple format for community oversight and reporting, without having to dig around for performance information on State Board of Education websites. Just a suggestion on ways to become more transparent in keeping the community informed and involved. In the meantime, check out the Ed-Data website and drill down to the particular school you are interested in.