Strategy and Analysis to Defend and Transform Public Education
This new report by the Black Organizing Project / Labor Community Strategy Center is a must-read, as it presents data on the role of police officers in schools and shows how this statewide problem can be addressed by the Local Control Funding Formula. In one school year, over 30,000 California students were referred to police, with at least 20,000 students being arrested, and over 90% of them being youth of color. The report shows how this increase in the criminalization of youth is directly tied to school spending. School budgets across the state have been increasingly devoted to school police and security at the expense of vital support and educational services. For example, Oakland Unified School District spent over $6.5 million on its school police department in 2012-2013, but less than $1 million for counselors. in Los Angeles Unified School District, the police/security budget was substantially more than the combined budgets for their arts program, psychologists, the Office of Civil Rights, instructional aides, psychiatric social workers, parent involvement, and career technical education.
The report also offers a series of recommendations for how the Local Control Funding Formula could be used to shift funding away from police and towards proven alternatives for increasing academic achievement and school safety (pp. 12-13). Such measures include smaller class sizes, well-rounded curricula, the expansion of ethnic and cultural studies, improved teacher support, more afterschool programs, and enhanced student/staff relationship building.
For the full report, read here: http://www.blackorganizingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/LCFF-POLICY-BRIEF-FINAL-VERSION-3-20-2014.pdf