Commentary author

The aftermath of COVID-19 poses a serious threat to California's education, expecting a drastic decline in tax revenue. School closures will harm all students academically and emotionally, highlighting educational inequalities. Policymakers must reimagine the system as Governor Newsom's proposed budget investments face uncertainty amidst growing needs post-pandemic. The education funding system shifted in 2013 with the Local Control Funding Formula, providing additional funds for districts with high-need students. However, the pandemic has rendered the new support system, reliant on the California School Dashboard, irrelevant. Issues such as inadequate timing and inconsistent district identification for assistance surfaced in a pre-pandemic report. A revised support system should engage diverse expertise, span multiple years, involve stakeholders, and address emerging post-pandemic needs. Simply patching the existing system won't surpass pre-pandemic outcomes; policymakers must seize this disruption to overhaul California's education structures.