Monday, October 23 , 2017, 4:39 am | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Unified District May Become Basic-Aid Funded and End Some Inter-District Transfers

Basic-aid funding comes from local property taxes, not state per-student funding; District currently has 212 out-of-district students attending its schools

Goleta Valley Junior High students head to class on the first day of school in August. Santa Barbara Unified School District may become basic-aid funded and end some inter-district transfers. Click to view larger
Goleta Valley Junior High students head to class on the first day of school in August. Santa Barbara Unified School District may become basic-aid funded and end some inter-district transfers.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk file photo)

The Santa Barbara Unified School District may soon become basic-aid funded and as a result, the school board may decide to stop inter-district transfers for students who live outside the boundaries. 

SBUSD currently receives state funding per-student under the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF.

A basic-aid district is one in which local property taxes exceed its LCFF funding, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Meg Jette said.

“This is not a choice by the district — look at all the building in Santa Barbara,” Jette said.

School districts can be basic-aid funded one year and LCFF-funded the next, she noted.

With the pending transition into the basic-aid model, district staff are proposing a change to its inter-district attendance policy.

The Board of Education discussed the item at last week's school board meeting and may take action on the proposal in October.  

A basic aid status is dependent on the property tax schedule and SBUSD expects to get a property tax revenue estimate in October, another in March, and the official number in April.

If Santa Barbara Unified is basic-aid status, transfer students from other districts wouldn’t contribute any funding to the district, because property taxes from neighboring districts do not follow the students, according to Frann Wageneck, assistant superintendent of student services. 

In LCFF funding, the district gets per-student funding based on attendance. 

Wageneck said there are 212 inter-district SBUSD students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade in the current school year: 69 children live in the Goleta Union School District, 14 students reside in the Hope School District and 52 individuals are from Carpinteria Unified School District boundaries. 

“Without making some change, we would be educating students who don’t have funding attached to them,” Wageneck said. “That’s an important concept to understand.”

The K-12 Santa Barbara Unified School District may become basic-aid funded. Some out-of-district students may be forced out of their current schools if the Board of Education ends inter-district transfers. Click to view larger
The K-12 Santa Barbara Unified School District may become basic-aid funded. Some out-of-district students may be forced out of their current schools if the Board of Education ends inter-district transfers.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Inter‐district students cost taxpayers within the district boundaries approximately $1.5 million annually, according to Santa Barbara Unified. The district initially identified the number as $3.3 million, but that was incorrect since it included charter school transfer students and those schools have their own enrollment policies, district spokeswoman Lauren Bianchi Klemann said. 

A draft board policy outlining changes to inter-district transfers would include an exemption for students who are children of district employees, kids of Santa Barbara City College employees and students “who will suffer or whose immediate family member(s) will suffer an extraordinary hardship due to a denial of their inter-district transfer request,” among other criteria.

“What is being proposed is that we will allow any current inter-district transfer to complete any current grade they are in now,” Wageneck said. “We are aware this change will have an impact on families.”

This is the first time Santa Barbara Unified would move into basic aid, but the former elementary district became basic aid in 2009 and kicked out roughly 300 students.

Montecito Union School District, Goleta Union School District, Cold Spring School District and Hope School District in Santa Barbara County are among more than 100 basic-aid districts across the state.

“The trend towards basic aid is coming, and it’s going to be a permanent status,” Superintendent Cary Matsuoka said at the school board meeting.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >