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Fact Sheet

Financing California’s Public Schools

By Julien Lafortune

K–12 funding has been at record-high levels in recent years, and California’s per student spending is now slightly above the national average. Spending is higher for low-income students, English Learners, and foster youth. However, enrollment declines, rising costs, and the expiration of pandemic funding pose fiscal challenges for school districts.

Report

Understanding the Reach of the California Earned Income Tax Credit

By Tess Thorman

State-designed and -funded tax credits for low-income families are a small but growing part of California’s anti-poverty portfolio. As policymakers explore ways to refine, increase, and supplement the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), they could benefit from knowing more about where and when the CalEITC and similar credits are claimed.

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A Conversation with Leon Panetta

As we move into a consequential election year, the importance of leadership is top of mind for Californians. Former secretary of defense and White House chief of staff Leon Panetta will join PPIC president and CEO Tani Cantil-Sakauye for a wide-ranging discussion about leading through the critical challenges facing the state and nation.

Report

Health Conditions and Health Care among California’s Undocumented Immigrants

By Paulette Cha, John Heintzman, Patricia Malagon

In January 2024, Medi-Cal will expand to all low-income Californians, regardless of age or immigration status. Understanding chronic conditions among undocumented patients and the health services they tend to use can help the state prepare to meet the needs of new applicants.

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Video: Examining the Reach of Targeted School Funding

By Stephanie Barton

All school districts in California saw large funding increases over the past decade, through the Local Control Funding Formula. PPIC researcher Julien Lafortune explores how districts managed these funds—and how they affected student outcomes.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Examining the Reach of Targeted School Funding

By Julien Lafortune, Joseph Herrera, Niu Gao, Stephanie Barton

The Local Control Funding Formula gives California districts additional funds for low-income and other high-need students as well as flexibility around how to spend this money. But this flexibility has raised concerns over whether districts are spending in ways that reach the high-need students and schools who generate the added funds.

Report

Examining the Reach of Targeted School Funding

By Julien Lafortune, Joseph Herrera, Niu Gao

Under California’s ten-year-old funding formula, districts with higher shares of high-need students receive additional dollars on top of base funding. Districts have flexibility around spending these funds, but when money is not fully directed to the intended students and schools, the impact on achievement gaps is diluted.

Report

Improving College Access and Success through Dual Enrollment

By Olga Rodriguez, Daniel Payares-Montoya, Iwunze Ugo, Niu Gao

At one time, mainly high-achieving high school students took college courses through dual enrollment; but access has widened under the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) program. While CCAP students are benefiting from the program—they enroll in community college at high rates and reach key milestones—CCAP has room to improve.

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Funding Education in California

Ten years ago, California implemented a new funding plan for public K–12 education. The goal of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was to improve student outcomes and increase equity by providing more resources to districts with larger populations of low-income students, English language learners, and foster youth. How has this funding approach served our students? Following a brief presentation by PPIC research fellow Julien Lafortune, PPIC president and CEO Tani Cantil-Sakauye will moderate a conversation with a panel of experts, including Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction; Josh Hoover, assemblymember; and Ben Chida, chief deputy cabinet secretary, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom.

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Bridging California’s Digital Divide

The pandemic highlighted longstanding gaps in reliable internet access and spurred unprecedented investments in broadband. What are the barriers to digital access across California’s diverse communities? How can we leverage recent funding to overcome obstacles and ensure digital equity? Join us for a multi-day conference about these critical issues.

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