Category Archives: Funding & Finance

Funding & Finance

California leads multistate lawsuit to protect CARES aid for public schools

8 Jul
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Tuesday, July 7, that he is leading a multistate lawsuit with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel against U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over the interim rule for how public schools distribute K–12 CARES Act money to private schools. Becerra, CSBA and many other public education organizations argue that the rule threatens tens of millions of dollars in California meant to help K-12 public schools confront the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic....

Governor signs 2020–21 budget package; CSBA webinar dives into details

30 Jun
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday night signed the 2020–21 state budget that leans heavily on deferrals in lieu of cuts to K–12 education funding and counts on significant additional federal funding to bolster schools financially in their monumental task to safely reopen schools. In a CSBA webinar on June 29, which drew nearly 500 attendees, experts offered insights into budget implications for schools and other policy changes during COVID-19 (view the slideshow presentation). Breaking down the finances and deferrals While...

State budget provisions complicate school reopening under COVID-19 conditions; Mega-deferrals established and major cuts avoided

24 Jun
pencils and coins
While touted by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders as preserving K–12 funding and positioning schools to reopen this fall, the 2020–21 state budget trailer bill language strips local educational agencies of critical flexibility needed to safely and effectively resume instruction. Distance learning Assembly Bill 77 states that in-person instruction should be offered to the greatest extent possible, only allowing distance learning under two circumstances: On an LEA or schoolwide level as a result of an order or guidance from...

Budget negotiations to intensify as Legislature meets June 15 deadline

17 Jun
The Legislature on Monday, June 15, passed a 2020–21 budget bill that staves off immediate and drastic cuts to K–12 education, however, the spending plan is far from final as negotiations with the Governor’s Office continue. The Legislature’s action meets the requirement that lawmakers pass a balanced budget by midnight on June 15; Gov. Gavin Newsom has 12 days to act on the measure. The two sides will continue to negotiate and adopt an amended budget that will help answer...

Legislature agrees on budget that rejects K–12 education cuts, counts on federal aid

4 Jun
The Legislature on Wednesday unveiled a 2020–21 budget proposal that prioritizes education and rejects the $8.1 billion in cuts to Proposition 98 funding called for in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May Revision proposal, including the 10 percent reduction to the Local Control Funding Formula. The Senate and the Assembly announced the agreement on the plan just six days after the Senate released its proposal. “Under the Legislature’s Version, the most draconian cuts — to schools and health and human services —...

State guidance on reopening schools nearing; funding remains key issue

22 May
The California Department of Education offered several insights into the development of its guidance for safely reopening schools during a May 21 webinar, with the department planning to release the document in the “days to weeks to come.” At the meeting’s outset, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said the webinar offered a chance for local educational agencies to compare notes on their reopening plans with the CDE’s guidance “to ensure we’re synchronized.” However, little detail was provided, with...

May Revision cuts LCFF, drops COLA, introduces proposals in effort to mitigate impact

15 May
Reflecting California’s pandemic-induced $54 billion budget deficit, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his May Revision on May 14 featuring a blend of proposals aimed at mitigating the dire financial straits of the state’s K–12 schools. “Coupled with a 10 percent cut to LCFF — the primary source of funding for K-12 education — the May Revision impairs the ability of schools to serve all students and to resume on-campus instruction safely,” said CSBA President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez. “This budget would be insufficient...

Significant aid from state and federal government will be needed for schools in coming recession, panel finds

30 Apr
public school building
School closures and a tanking economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic laid the backdrop for a panel discussion on April 28 about the current and future state of education funding in California, hosted by Policy Analysis for California Education. Panelists shared concerns about how schools will fare in the face of the severe economic downturn, agreeing that the most vulnerable students would be hardest hit, and that an infusion of state and federal funds is imperative to preserve public education...

Budget subcommittee takes on big questions around school finance, learning loss, the future

29 Apr
While legislators, state officials and education advocates may have left with more questions than they arrived with, an Assembly Budget Subcommittee hearing on April 28 punctuated the COVID-19 pandemic’s massive impact on K–12 schools. The parties learned that many of the answers largely hinge upon the May Revision and the whole budget process moving forward. The lengthy Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance hearing explored COVID-19 implications for school finances, accountability and safety; how California can mitigate learning...

In wake of pandemic, local reserves can help stabilize districts in short term

9 Apr
pencils and coins
The Legislative Analyst’s Office on April 5 released an update on state and school district reserves in light of the likelihood of vastly decreased revenues due to COVID-19 pandemic mitigation efforts. About 40 percent of California’s General Fund is dedicated to K-14 education. This money, received from Proposition 98, accounts for most of the total funding for the state’s school districts. Therefore, the report states, “the fiscal condition of school districts and the state are closely connected. A decline in...