Compiled By David Meza
At a recent town hall meeting, West Contra Costa Unified School District students had the chance to give their direct input into how educational money should be spent for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.
The April 16 meeting at Helms Middle School in San Pablo, also gave students information about the Local Control Funding Formula, the new state law put into effect in 2013 that dramatically reformed the way California funds its schools — focusing on high-need students, such as those from low incomes, English learners and foster youth.
As part of the new law, school districts must develop a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), which requires school districts to engage parents and students before finalizing plans for spending priorities.
Richmond Pulse asked students at the town hall about the needs of their schools and how they would like to see money spent. Students said they want more engagement with their schools and more effective ways of learning.
– Darell Waters, 17, Gompers High School
“I’m a community person, so I think that we need to mix the community and school together. I want to see programs and clubs that get funding so students can go out and volunteer and represent our school and our district.”
– Francisco Ortiz, 17, Kennedy High School
“I definitely think the money should go towards the academies. They help students prepare for careers they want to seek in the future. They are trying to close the ROTC academy, so I’m working with some students to make sure it stays open.”
– Dayjah Burton, 16, DeAnza High School
“A lot of the money should go to more clubs and after-school activities that would get us interested [in] getting work done but having fun at the same time. Something like combining sports and a science project. I know my generation is lazy, so I feel if we use social media, or technology, and tie it into our schoolwork, that would help us concentrate more.”
– Isaiah Noel Johnson, 16, Gompers High School
“For my school, I think books and after-school activities like clubs. For example [in] my chemistry class, we never have enough books for everyone. After school, I think we have an extra credit program, but I think more things to do after school would be good for us.”
– Ashley Raylene Samano, 17, Gompers High School