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Part 9. Finance. Chapter 1. State School Fund. Article 1. Sources, Conditions of Apportionments, Amounts of Support Per Average Daily Attendance   

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It is the intent of the Legislature that the administration of the laws governing the financial support of the public school system in this state be conducted within the purview of the following principles and policies:

The system of public school support should be designed to strengthen and encourage local responsibility for control of public education. Local school districts should be so organized that they can facilitate the provision of full educational opportunities for all who attend the public schools. Local control is best accomplished by the development of strong, vigorous, and properly organized local school administrative units. It is the state's responsibility to create or facilitate the creation of local districts of sufficient size to properly discharge local responsibilities and to spend the tax dollar effectively.

The system of public school support should assure that state, local, and other funds are adequate for the support of a realistic funding level. It is unrealistic and unfair to the less wealthy districts to provide for only a part of the financing necessary for an adequate educational program.

The system of public school support should permit and encourage local school districts to provide and support improved district organization and educational programs. The system of public school support should prohibit the introduction of undesirable organization and educational practices, and should discourage any of those practices now in effect. Improvement of programs in particular districts is in the interests of the state as a whole as well as of the people in individual districts, since the excellence of the programs in some districts will tend to bring about program improvement in other districts.

The system of public school support should make provision for the apportionment of state funds to local districts on a strictly objective basis that can be computed as well by the local districts as by the state. The principle of local responsibility requires that the granting of discretionary powers to state officials over the distribution of state aid and the granting to these officials of the power to impose undue restriction on the use of funds and the conduct of educational programs at the local level be avoided.

The system of public school support should effect a partnership between the state, the county, and school districts, with each participating equitably in accordance with its relative ability. The respective abilities should be combined to provide a financial plan between the state and the local agencies for public school support. Toward this support program, each county and district, through a uniform method, should contribute in accordance with its true financial ability.

The system of public school support should provide for essential educational opportunities for all who attend the public schools. Provision should be made in the financial plan for adequate financing of all educational services.

The broader based taxing power of the state should be utilized to raise the level of financial support in the properly organized but financially weak districts of the state, thus contributing greatly to the equalization of educational opportunity for the students residing therein. It should also be used to provide a minimum amount of guaranteed support to all districts, for that state assistance serves to develop among all districts a sense of responsibility to the entire system of public education in the state.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1372, Sec. 106.)