RICHMOND -- More than 100 parents, students and administrators gathered for a town-hall meeting at DeJean Middle School on Tuesday to learn about the new Fair School Funding law, which will bring California schools more money, more local control and new priorities.
The meeting was the fourth of the California Endowment's 12-city School Success Express bus tour, aimed at raising awareness about the new law and getting local feedback to take to Sacramento lawmakers.
The law took effect July 1 and is billed as a way to simplify California's complicated system of school funding and give more control over spending to local school boards. Districts like West Contra Costa Unified, with large populations of students who are poor and non-native English speakers, get additional funding under the new law.
The West Contra Costa district anticipates a net increase of $6.4 million this year, according to a July budget report, and administrators said they plan to spend some of the money on reducing K-3 class sizes, hiring more school resource officers and increasing the number of "full-service" community schools with health and other services.
Lusi Timoteo, 44, a mother of three whose youngest is a junior at Kennedy High School in Richmond, said she came to learn more about what she can do to contribute to her son's school.
"I've learned that in order for your kids to get the most out of their educations, parents need to be involved and communicating with the teachers and administrators," she said.