San Marino Unified School District

Governor's Budget Proposal 
"Great for Most School Districts, Simply Not Good Enough for San Marino USD"

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Many of you have knowledge of Governor Brown's May Revise to the state budget, and the associated 2015-16 budget for K-12 Education.  What you have probably heard is that California schools are getting billions of dollars in new money.  This is only part of the story.  The truth is that most of these new funds go to large urban districts like LAUSD. In LAUSD alone, per pupil funding would reach $11,000 per student, up nearly $3,000 from the current year.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality here in San Marino USD. Next year's budget would increase our per-pupil funding by only 2.8% more than the proposed budget from January 2015.
 In dollars, SMUSD would receive approximately $7,400 per student under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) (i.e. $40.65 per student per day), which is lower than most California school districts and considerably less than many school districts in the nation (e.g., New York and New Jersey at $20,000 plus per student).

The harsh reality for us is that San Marino USD continues to receive proportionately less state funding than most school districts in California under the Local Control Funding Formula because the LCFF benefits those school districts with high percentages of English language learners, low-income students who qualify for free and reduced price meals, and foster youth.

Despite the unequal and unfair funding formula, however, San Marino USD will benefit from the additional monies and will continue to provide new and innovative programs for our students.  For 2015-16, the District is planning to expand reading, Common Core, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and technology classroom support.  We also plan to add a Transitional Kindergarten (TK) class at Valentine and a full-time Athletics Administrator at the High School. The High School will offer additional classes like zero period Chemistry, AP Mandarin, and Honors Humanities at the Huntington Library. Computer Coding classes will be of
fered at both SMHS and Huntington Middle School. We also plan to maintain low class sizes District-wide to offer more individualized attention for our students.

So how do we continue to be on the cutting edge of K-12 education? The answer is simple... It is because of all of you, our school community supporters.  Based on the generous support of approximately $2.5 million this year from the San Marino Schools Foundation, the District is able to provide for an additional 32 teaching positions throughout the schools at all grade levels. Additionally, with your support we were able to renew the local parcel tax, which provides an additional $4M per year to the District, which we continue to use to fund our lower class sizes and extra-curricular programs. Support from the PTSA and PTAs has been crucial to providing enrichment programs at all schools.

My message to all of you is to recognize that what is good for most of California school districts is not good enough for San Marino USD. A good public education may be free, but an exceptional public education, one that we expect here in San Marino, comes at a cost. I thank you for your continued support of our school district, through the giving of your time and your resources.



  Alex Cherniss, Ed.D.

  Superintendent of Schools

  San Marino Unified School District