California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Fiscal support from the local governing board

According to the National Middle School Association (Outside Source), only about 15 percent of Title I funds go to the middle grades.1 However, Title I funds are only one source of money for schools, and it is essential for policymakers to ensure equitable resources for students in the middle grades so that they do not become dropout statistics in high school.

According to Essential Program Component (EPC) #9, school districts in program improvement (PI) and those wanting to improve student achievement must provide fiscal support to provide facilities, instructional materials, training, and technology so that each school has the resources needed to close the achievement gap. “As school board members set the policy and direction for school districts, they support the district’s goals by providing the resources needed to achieve those goals. It is through their budgetary decisions that teachers are provided with the resources necessary to implement programs and meet students’ needs.”2

Effective local governing boards give schools time to use a program long enough to see if it works. The board approves a district budget that provides funding and resources to support:

  • Ongoing teacher preparation (see Recommendation 10, Professional Learning)
  • Middle school structures such as adequate staffing in academics, including the library-media center, interventions, and co-curricular offerings
  • Flexible scheduling to extend learning time as necessary to support student success (see Recommendation 3, Time)
  • Longer school days and years to help students catch up to grade-level achievement
  • Data analysis (Refer to the section in Recommendation 2, Instruction, Assessment, and Intervention): Douglas Reeves developed the “leadership for learning framework” that shows how successful educational leaders use data to isolate school factors that work from those that do not3
  • Academic language development (literacy councils/schoolwide literacy practices—refer to the section in Recommendation 1, Rigor)
  • Student health and safety (see Recommendation 8, Safety, Health, and Resiliency).

In the Spotlight

San Francisco Unified School District
The district’s Students and Teachers Achieving Results! (STAR—not affiliated with the statewide testing program) initiative provides school-focused interventions to underperforming schools. The three categories of interventions are (1) additional school site personnel to support instructional improvement, (2) additional district support for instructional improvement (e.g., technical assistance), and (3) additional resources to address key areas of need (e.g., materials and funding). The district's STAR Web page includes program overviews, data, and resources related to the program.

The following chart provides data about California’s rank nationally concerning resources for education:

New Data on California Schools from EdSource

Reprinted with permission. Copyright EdSource 2007. EdSource (Outside Source)

Topic California Rank in U.S. California Average U.S. Average
Teachers’ salaries (2004-05)


Expenditures per pupil (2004-05)


Per capita personal income (2003)


Total ratio: certified staff to 1,000 students (2004-05)



School principals and assistant principals




Guidance counselors




Related Links

Local governing board support for articulation

Compliance with the Williams case

1NCLB Recommendations—National Middle School Association (PDF; Outside Source), n.d., 2.
2 Luan Rivera, President, California School Boards Association, in a presentation at the California League of Middle Schools conference, March 8, 2006.
3 Douglas B. Reeves, The Learning Leader: How to Focus School Improvement for Better Results. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006.

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