Letter: Community covers the funding gap

In the past several weeks, I frequently have been asked, “What does it cost to educate a student in the La Cañada Unified School District?” It is an important question and one that I want to openly answer for the entire community. The cost per pupil for the District’s educational program in the 2013-14 school year is $9,320. (For purposes of comparison, the 2011 National Average in public school per pupil spending was $11,864.) The 2013-14 total amount of per pupil revenue allocated to LCUSD from the state of California and from federal funding is $7,327. The difference between the costs and the revenues from state and federal sources is $1,992.

This difference is made up by local revenues. The largest sources of these local dollars include gifts to the district from the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation, revenue from the district’s lease and rental properties, and support from our current parcel tax.

The revenues to LCUSD from the state clearly fall short. They leave each student underfunded by nearly $2,000. It is, instead, our local revenues — those from right here in La Cañada Flintridge — that sustain the quality educational program that the district provides to its students. We cannot do it without you.

On behalf of the district, I want to express my extreme gratitude to the community for providing those local revenues. I am always cognizant of the fact that it is our community’s generous support that shoulders the gap and allows us to provide the best education possible in a grossly underfunded funding model.

Wendy Sinnette

Editor's Note: Sinnette is the superintendent of the La Cañada Unified School District.

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