blank whiteboard and chairs stacked up at front of classroom

This month, the Oakland Unified School District school board is being tasked with making nearly $50 million in budget cuts for the upcoming school year.

To help our readers better understand that process, The Oaklandside set out to answer some important questions about how schools are funded, how OUSD currently spends its money, and some of the factors that have contributed to OUSD’s current situation. We’ve also included several resources at the bottom of this article that community members can use to examine the district’s finances on their own.

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) fundamentally changed the way California schools receive money when it was passed in 2013 by the California legislature. Every district, including Oakland Unified, receives a “base grant” from the state that’s determined by average daily attendance at high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.

Districts also receive supplemental funding based on the number of “high needs” students attending schools in their district, as defined by the state: English learners, low-income students (those who qualify for free or reduced price lunch), homeless students, and children in foster care.

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