California’s Constitution guarantees to every young citizen a free and equitable public education. SB 98, the California K-12 budget trailer bill, violates this constitutional promise. A provision in SB 98 eliminates the historical method of providing state funding to schools based on per pupil attendance of the actual students enrolled in the school, and instead reduces school funding to prior year amounts regardless of how many children are enrolled. This provision defunds growth at any public school. This defunding of students breaks the long standing link between funding following the child and fails to provide schools the necessary resources to educate every child.
John Adams Academies began providing a principle based education steeped in classics and great mentors in fall of 2011. We opened our doors with over 500 scholars and every year that we have been in operation we have grown, opening additional campuses in El Dorado Hills and Lincoln. This year is no different with the opening of a brand new facility in Lincoln and hundreds of new families enrolling to take advantage of our American Classical Leadership Education® model.
John Adams Academy has carefully and deliberately planned year-over-year growth based on the consistent demand and waitlists for our model of education. This fall we will have approximately 763 new students joining our academies. Due to the defunding provision of senate bill 98, none of these newly enrolled students will receive any funding. Many of these students have patiently waited years on a waitlist to join the academy. After years of planning and development, we have created the capacity to serve them, but the state is telling them their education will not be funded. Across all of our campuses, the state is defunding approximately $6.5 million of revenue that should follow the students. This defunding has a disparate impact on all of the students that attend our academies.
Our story is not unique. Thousands of students in growing public schools are suffering the same harm. Help us now to ensure that California funds every child and funds them equitably.