- Los Angeles Unified School District
Statement by Superintendent Austin Beutner on Budget for the 2021-2022 School Year (06-22-21)
Shannon Haber, 213-393-1289 June 22, 2021
Statement by Superintendent Austin Beutner
On Budget for the 2021-2022 School Year
LOS ANGELES (June 22, 2021) – Los Angeles Unified has led efforts at the state and national level to create a “Marshall Plan” for schools which has resulted in a record amount of funding to help students on the path to recovery.
Today we reached another important milestone when the Board of Education passed the budget for the 2021-2022 school year. In the coming school year, schools will spend more than $24,000 per student, up from less than $17,000 three years ago. From crisis comes a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make things meaningfully better for the children we serve.
This budget is a statement about the values of our organization, and it places students first. Schools will have the largest increase in the number of teachers, counselors and custodians in more than a generation. All will provide services to directly benefit students.
- A record $700 million of flexible funding is being provided to schools based solely on the needs of students.
- $80 million will be invested to add reading and math teachers in elementary schools to help students build a foundation in literacy and math.
- $151 million will triple the number of mental health counselors working with students at schools.
- $166 million will enable elementary and secondary schools to add teachers and reduce class sizes to allow for more individualized instruction.
- $91 million will increase custodial staff to keep schools clean and safe.
In addition, the spending on the safety measures in schools will continue during the summer and into the new school year. And all students have the opportunity to participate in summer school this year.
All of the dollars will be provided to schools based on need – elementary students who need help in reading will receive it, secondary school students will get more individualized instruction with greater funding provided to high-needs schools, all students will have more access to mental health resources and over and above this, additional support will be provided to schools in communities hardest hit by the crisis. Students with differences and disabilities will receive the individualized support they need. And all school campuses will be kept clean and safe.
We have shared information during the course of this school year about efforts to help students through efforts like the Primary Promise in elementary schools to build a foundation in literacy, math and critical-thinking skills. Now that students have completed the school year, we can see additional proof of the impact additional resources are making in schools – and the results are truly remarkable.
In the community of Watts, 86% of students in the Primary Promise program were non-readers or struggling to read at the beginning of the school year. By the end of this year, more than half were reading at or above grade level. In the community of Wilmington, 91% of students in the program were non-readers or struggling to read at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year, 49% were reading at or above grade level. In each of these communities, the progress made by students was more than two times that of their peers who were not in the Primary Promise program.
And all of this was done while students were online, imagine the progress they’ll make when they’re back in the classroom this coming school year.
Los Angeles Unified is well on the path to recovery with safe school environments, record amounts of school funding, renewed trust and collaboration with the families we serve and a demonstrated ability to help students achieve dramatically better outcomes. This budget will ensure there is much more progress yet to come in the weeks and months which lie ahead.