California schools will receive an infusion of more than $3.6 billion in extra money this year, much of it targeted to the neediest students as part of a redistribution plan pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The governor hopes that dramatically reshaping how state aid is handed out will correct decades of inequality between districts.
Whether the extra money will actually help close the longstanding achievement gap between poor and minority students and their counterparts hinges almost entirely on how it is spent.
Yet just days before lawmakers are to begin voting on the budget, it is not clear what guidance they will provide.
That worries advocates for education reform. They want specific language in the budget regarding transparency, parental involvement and accountability to ensure the money is spent as intended.