Letters to the Editor: Don’t just spend money on disadvantaged students, fund programs for them that work

Belmont High School students
Students depart Belmont High School in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 9.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I would just add to the L.A. Times’ editorial on school funding for disadvantaged children that it isn’t sufficient to simply know where the money is going.

There also needs to be attention paid to whether it is going to things that have been proved, or have a reasonable chance, to improve outcomes for kids. Just stating that a school district is doing more of the same that hasn’t worked, or is doing something with the money that has no research base or track record of improving outcomes, will not get us very far.

At UCLA, we’ve offered research-based recommendations for spending for English learners, but this kind of guidance needs to be shared with districts, many of whom don’t know what best to spend the funds on.

Patricia Gándara, Los Angeles


The writer is a professor of education and co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.


To the editor: Your editorial on “extra funding intended by Sacramento for disadvantaged students” says this: “The expenditures should show results, with the students showing real improvement. So far, that improvement has been painfully incremental.”

I suppose that “painfully incremental” is a progressive euphemism for “almost nonexistent.”


Richard Showstack, Irvine