Thurmond Announces Distribution of Nearly $1 Million for Paradise Unified Technology Purchases

April 19, 2019

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced on April 16 that the California Department of Education (CDE) has negotiated a payment of $973,863.36 from the Microsoft Corporation to Paradise Unified School District to help with rebuilding efforts in the wake of the devastating Camp Fire. The money is left over from the Education Technology K–12 Voucher Program, which was established after a $1.1 billion settlement in 2003 ordering Microsoft to reimburse California consumers for antitrust violations.

“Butte County educators and their communities suffered greatly during and after the Camp Fire. They have also worked heroically and selflessly toward helping students,” said Thurmond. “I’m proud of the work the CDE is continuing to do in assisting students and educators in Paradise and surrounding communities. This grant will help Paradise Unified rebuild schools and support its education infrastructure.”...

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Track California’s Personal Income Tax Receipts through April

April 19, 2019

On April 14, State Controller Betty T. Yee launched her annual online tracker for personal income tax receipts through April. This month is a crucial phase for the state budget as Californians file hundreds of thousands of tax returns, the May budget revision is imminent, and the new fiscal year starts July 1.

Last fiscal year, personal income taxes accounted for 69.1 percent of all state General Fund revenues. A significant share of personal income taxes (15.2 percent) arrived during the month of April...

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Controller Reports February State Revenues Short of Budget Forecasts

March 23, 2019

California’s total revenues of $5.51 billion in February were lower than forecasted in the governor’s proposed 2019-20 fiscal year budget by $1.34 billion, or 19.5 percent, and in the FY 2018-19 Budget Act by $2.01 billion, or 26.7 percent, State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on March 11.

Two-thirds of the way through FY 2018-19, total revenues of $79.93 billion were lower than expected in the proposed and enacted budgets by $4.20 billion and $3.33 billion, respectively. For the fiscal year to date, state revenues are 1.4 percent lower than the same time last year...

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Trump’s Education Budget Ignores Needs of Students and Schools

By Neil Campbell and Lisette Partelow - March 23, 2019

When it comes to federal education policy, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration have no new ideas. Much like the Department of Education’s proposed budgets for fiscal year 2018 and 2019, the FY 2020 budget asks for students and teachers to pay for the administration’s misguided policy aims in the form of cuts to education programs. Though DeVos’ education agenda has never been popular, this year’s budget proposal is particularly tone deaf to the needs of students and schools. The Trump administration has been fiscally irresponsible to the extreme, granting enormous tax cuts to wealthy corporations at taxpayers’ expense and letting a costly partial government shutdown drag on. And yet, every year when the budget is released, programs that help students and families seem to come last on its list of priorities, receiving huge cuts or being targeted for elimination...

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LAO Analyses Impact of Governor’s Budget on Prop. 98 Funding

February 24, 2019

(Editor’s note: On February 13, the Legislative Analyst’s Office released a lengthy report analyzing the impact of Governor Newsom’s January budget proposal on Prop. 98 funding for K-12 education. Below, we are reprinting the report’s Executive Summary and Summary of Recommendations, along with a link to the LAO’s full report.)

Executive Summary

In this report, we assess the architecture of the Governor’s overall Proposition 98 budget and analyze his specific proposals for K-12 education...

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Controller: State Revenues Opened 2019 Mostly Below Projections

February 24, 2019

State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on February 10 that California’s total revenues of $18.79 billion in January were lower than estimates in the governor’s 2019-20 fiscal year budget proposal by $1.81 billion, or 8.8 percent, but higher than projections in the FY 2018-19 Budget Act by $1.21 billion, or 6.9 percent.

Total revenues of $74.42 billion for the first seven months of FY 2018-19 were lower than expected in the proposed and enacted budgets by $2.87 billion and $1.32 billion, respectively. In the fiscal year to date, state revenues are just 0.2 percent lower than the same time last year.

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Thurmond Announces Applications for Summer Meal Programs

February 9, 2019

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced on January 31 that applications are available for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children eighteen and younger when school is out of session.

“Food insecurity impacts families throughout the state. When schools are out of session, our most economically disadvantaged students are not only missing academic instruction, they are also missing meals,” said Thurmond. “Access to nutritious and healthy food during the summer months helps students return to school ready to engage and ready to learn.”...

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LAO Releases Overview of the Gov’s Prop. 98 Budget Package

January 26, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Package Generally Reasonable Starting Point but Poses Some Risk. Though we think the administration’s estimates of the K-14 funding guarantee are reasonable given the data available at the time they were prepared, subsequent economic developments (largely relating to stock prices) suggest the estimates might be revised downward somewhat in the coming months. A drop in the funding guarantee in 2018-19 or 2019-20 could necessitate various adjustments to the Governor’s proposed $2.9 billion K-14 spending package. Under the January budget, the Governor prioritizes new spending primarily for the Local Control Funding Formula, community college apportionments, and special education. We think these spending priorities generally are reasonable, particularly as they largely build upon recent state reform efforts. The proposed augmentations, however, are vulnerable to potential downward adjustments in May. Schools and community colleges also face additional risk relative to recent state budgets, as the Governor’s budget contains almost no one-time 2019-20 spending, meaning ongoing K-14 programs have no corresponding protection were the guarantee to decline in 2020-21. The Governor also proposes undoing a budget agreement enacted last year relating to Proposition 98 true-ups, with the effect of benefiting schools but making balancing the rest of the state budget even more difficult during downturns...

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State Revenues Come Up Short of Expectations in December

January 12, 2019

On January 10 -- the day Governor Gavin Newsom proposed his first budget -- State Controller Betty T. Yee reported California’s revenues in December fell short of assumptions in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget by $4.82 billion. For the fiscal year, revenues of $55.63 billion are 4.4 percent ($2.54 billion) less than projected in the budget, which was enacted at the end of June.

“With our economy continuing to hover on the brink of a downturn, I applaud Governor Newsom’s budget planning with an eye towards building a strong foundation of long-term cost savings and fiscal discipline...

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Reaction to Governor’s Budget Proposal Largely Positive

January 12, 2019

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20.

“Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said...

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