Controller Reports State Revenues Fall Short of Projections for May

June 14, 2018

State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on June 8 that California brought in less tax revenue than expected during the month of May. Total revenues of $8.25 billion were below monthly estimates in the governor’s FY 2018-19 updated budget proposal by $784.2 million, or 8.7 percent.

With one month left in the 2017-18 fiscal year that began in July, total revenues of $115.38 billion are $784.2 million less than estimates in the May budget revision, but $4.52 billion higher than expected in the enacted budget. Total fiscal year-to-date revenues are $10.10 billion higher than for the same period in FY 2016-17...

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2018-19 State Budget Bill Heading for Governor Brown’s Desk

June 14, 2018

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced on June 8 that they have reached an agreement on the 2018-19 state budget. The budget agreement makes investments in schools and universities, creates the state’s first online community college, fully fills the state’s Rainy Day Fund, boosts child care and combats homelessness and poverty.

“After detailed discussions, California is on the verge of having another on-time, balanced budget,” said Governor Brown. “From a $27 billion deficit in 2011, the state now enjoys a healthy surplus and a solid Rainy Day Fund.”...

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Union President Not Surprised by Research Finding that Teachers Spend Their Own Money Buying School Supplies

June 1, 2018

On May 15, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten told reporters that she was not surprised by the findings of a new National Center for Education Statistics report showing teachers spend an average of $479 a year on school supplies out of their own pockets.

Weingarten said “Teachers go into the profession because they care deeply about kids’ learning and well-being. When their classrooms lack basic supplies like chalk, tissues and textbooks, and when kids’ families are struggling to provide necessities, the immediate solution is for teachers to buy these things themselves. It’s telling that teachers spent the most-some spent well over $1,000-in poverty-stricken schools where kids are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. That is why, years ago in New York City, we started Teachers Choice as a way for the New York City Council to help defray the amounts educators spent on their students’ classroom needs. And it’s why we established the AFT First Book partnership to deliver over 5 million books to kids...

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ACSA Analysis
Governor Brown Releases 2018-19 State Budget May Revise

May 18, 2018

On May 11, Gov. Jerry Brown released the May Revision to the 2018-19 State Budget. Just like recent reports indicated the state’s revenues were above projections by several billion dollars, the May Revision reflects higher revenue estimates of $8 billion through 2018-19 compared to the January budget.

The governor continues to note the state’s economy is four years past the traditional recovery period following an economic recession and warns of the uncertainty created by the national political landscape and the recent changes to reduce federal taxes. Gov. Brown also notes that the state continues to face ongoing liabilities such as state infrastructure and retiree health care benefits, and the state must continue to pay for substantially higher costs for programs recently expanded, including Medi-Cal, Cal Grants, child care, In-Home Supportive Services and foster care reform. Further, it was noted that the state has added considerable ongoing commitments since the passage of Proposition 30 and that the budget is projected to return to a deficit since a recession at some point is inevitable. Despite these cautionary warnings, the May Revision economic forecast reflects continued growth over the next four years...

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California Budget and Policy Center Analysis
A Lot to Like in May Budget Revision, But There Is Still Room for Investment in Key Areas That Help Broaden Opportunity

May 18, 2018

The California Budget & Policy Center, a nonpartisan public policy research group, issued the following statement from Executive Director Chris Hoene in response to the May 11 release of Governor Jerry Brown’s revised 2018-19 budget:

“There’s a lot to like in Governor Brown’s revised budget. But especially given the state’s strong revenues, there are some really key areas where we could be doing more to invest in broadening opportunity and promoting economic security...

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Controller Reports April State Revenues Exceeded Projections

May 18, 2018

State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on May 10 that California collected more tax revenue during the month of April than in any previous month of the 2017-18 fiscal year so far. Moreover, total April revenues of $18.03 billion were higher than estimates in the governor’s FY 2018-19 proposed budget by 5.3 percent.

For the first 10 months of the 2017-18 fiscal year that began in July, total revenues of $107.13 billion are $4.72 billion above estimates in the enacted budget and $3.82 billion higher than January’s revised fiscal year-to-date predictions. Total fiscal year-to-date revenues are $10.25 billion higher than for the same period in FY 2016-17...

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LAO Offers Analysis of May Budget Revision

May 18, 2018

(Editor’s note: On May 14, the California Legislative Analayst’s Office, or LAO, released the following analysis of Governor Jerry Brown’s May Budget Revision proposal)

Introduction

In this report, we analyze the May Revision education proposals. We first provide an overview of Proposition 98 funding and then focus on the Governor’s major proposals for K-12 education, child care and preschool, community colleges, universities, and student financial aid. This year, the May Revision does not contain substantially higher amounts of education funding. It does, however, contain a few major new policy proposals and many notable policy revisions to the Governor’s January proposals. Most notably, the May Revision includes a major proposal relating to a new process for certifying and truing up the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee. We believe this proposal merits serious legislative consideration. The May Revision also makes notable revisions to the Governor’s January proposals for building a new system of support for low-performing school districts, restructuring the community college apportionment formula, and creating a new online college...

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DeVos Announces New Federal Disaster Assistance

May 3, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on April 30 a total of approximately $693 million in new federal assistance under the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (K-12 Restart) program. The awards announced today are the first in a multi-phased process designed to provide prompt initial funding while offering subsequent opportunities for eligible States to seek additional assistance through future applications.  

“As communities get back on their feet in disaster affected regions, we continue to support them in every way we can,” said Secretary DeVos. “This additional funding will ensure students, teachers and staff have ongoing access to the services they need to fully recover and rebuild.”...

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Budget Commentary
‘Silver Tsunami’ Hits as Pension Costs Devour School Budgets

May 3, 2018

By Arun Ramanathan and Chad Aldeman

The pro- and anti-reform houses of education land are prepping for the next big battle between charter schools and teachers unions. The great houses in philanthropic foundation land are deciding where to place their bets. But winter is coming, and no one can avoid it.

Schools in Tracy faced a deficit of $8 million. The hole was $124 million deep in San Diego Unified. After making millions in cuts, Oakland Unified faces a $9 million deficit next year and $20 million in 2020. These are just a few of the hundreds of districts that made cuts...

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LAO: Federal Government Adjusts 2018 19 COLA, Indicating Slightly Higher Funding for K-14 Education Programs

May 3, 2018

In late April, the federal government released updated information that affects the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that the state provides to certain school and community college programs. Below, we explain how the state calculates the COLA, share the recent data, and examine its budget effects.

Background

Annual COLA Determined by Price Index for State and Local Governments. The state budget typically provides a COLA for certain school and community college programs. State law links this COLA to a national price index developed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce)...

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Controversial Spending Plan by Fresno Unified Sparks Coalition Report

April 7, 2018

The ACLU Foundations of California, in partnership with Fresno Building Healthy Communities, released a report on March 26 detailing the Fresno Unified School District’s alleged attempt to improperly use state funding designated for high need students. It also provides a review of the responsibilities of California school districts when creating their Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

The report, titled “Is Funding for High-Need Students Actually Reaching Those Students? A Review of Fresno Unified’s Local Control Accountability Plan,” highlights the California Department of Education’s May 2017 decision directing the Fresno district to fix its LCAP after the ACLU of Northern California exposed its plan to use millions of dollars earmarked for high-need students on police, surveillance, janitorial staffing, and building upgrades...

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Study: Most States Fund Schools in High-Poverty Districts Far Below What’s Needed to Achieve Average Outcomes

March 23, 2018

A new policy brief, authored by researchers at Rutgers University and released by Education Law Center, shows that most U.S. states fund their public schools at a level far below what is necessary for students in high-poverty districts to achieve at even average levels in English and math.

The full report, entitled “The Real Shame of the Nation: The Causes and Consequences of Interstate Inequity in Public School Investments,” is the first of its kind to examine the relationship between school funding, student achievement, and poverty levels across all states and the District of Columbia in the United States.  The report builds on the comparisons in state school funding systems in the “National Report Card, Is School Funding Fair?”... 

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