More Investments Need to be Made Into High-Need Students

May 24, 2017 /

By Randy Villegas

Parents, students, and community organizations held a press conference May 23 to launch an educational media campaign to encourage community participation in the school budget process known as the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

The community demanded that the Kern High School District be more transparent in how it’s spending millions of additional dollars aimed at low-income, English Learners, and foster kids.

Advocates say too many of our students leave the KHSD and are not college or career ready.

“Really, the big issue is equity. For the school district to be a responsible custodian of those funds, they ought to be targeting those schools with vast majorities of high needs students. That is just not happening at the moment,” said Dr. Gerald Cantu, a professor and civic engagement director at the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

According to Cantu, schools such as South High and Mira Monte have over 90 percent of students that are high need. While at Liberty and Centennial there is less than a quarter of students who are considered high-need.

According to a recent analysis of the LCAP, the Kern High School District is allocating 55 percent of its equity-based dollars on District expenditures, rather than specifically targeting schools with high LCFF populations (low income, foster youth, and English language learners).

“There is a lack of transparency and accountability about how KHSD is spending millions of additional dollars provided by a state law,” said Cantu.

The press conference was organized by the Kern Education Justice Collaborative, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and Faith in the Valley Kern.

The LCAP is a plan that is designed to ensure that high needs students get the resources they deserve. The Kern High School’s LCAP has just been released, and the Dolores Huerta Foundation is offering free workshops designed to train parents, students and community members on how to provide their input on how this money should be spent.

In 2013, the state dramatically changed the way it funds school districts across the state by adopting the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). In addition to reversing cuts made during the Great Recession, the new law directs added resources to higher-need school districts by giving them supplemental and concentration grant funding – equity-based dollars – tied to the number of low income, foster youth, and English learner students in each district. 

Districts are required to consult with the community, including students, parents, and teachers, while developing their LCAPs.

One student who was at the press conference spoke out about the need for equity in schools.

“Now a days you see less and less people from low-income communities going to college. Lower income kids need the resources. They need school supplies, computers, and resources to succeed,” said Octavio Valdovinos from Golden Valley High School.

According to the Advancement Project Policy brief, only 32 percent of Kern High graduates meet the A-G eligibility requirements with a C or better, allowing them to enter a four-year public university. That is more than 10 points below the state average of 43 percent. This overall level reflects considerable racial disparities: white students fare the best at 38 percent, Latino students at 29 percent, and Black students at 25 percent.

The socioeconomically disadvantaged are only passing A-G courses at 21 percent. Only 1.5 percent of English language learners are UC/CSU eligible (students that should be invested in according to LCAP Guidelines).

Valdovinos also shared his own personal experience when in his engineering class it took them four months to receive some laptops to learn how to program. “But when it comes to the football program, they get their helmets within a week and a half,” Said Octavio.

“They should be focusing their money and attention on the students that actually need it,” said Valdovinos.

In order to encourage parents, students, and community members to get involved, the community groups will be providing free workshops for the community. These workshops will educate parents and anyone who attends on how to make recommendations to the Kern High School District, in order to improve the health and educational outcomes of students. Dinner and childcare will be provided at all trainings! You can see a list of these workshops below:


Session 1: General LCAP Overview
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 
5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Access Building 
1330 Truxtun Ave. 
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Session 2: LCAP Analysis and Recommendations

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 
5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
506 E. Brundage Lane
Bakersfield, CA 93307


Session 1: General LCAP Overview
Thursday, May 18, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Session 2: LCAP Analysis
Monday, May 22, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Session 3: Identify LCAP Priorities
Thursday, May 25, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Session 4: Determine LCAP Recommendations
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
All South Kern/Greenfield workshops will be held at:

141 N. A St., Suite E 
Arvin, CA 93203




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