Category Archives: Funding & Finance

Funding & Finance

CSBA and its partners continue push for school facilities funds

16 Jan
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construction site
Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a notable shift from his predecessors’ policies pertaining to school facilities. When the voters of California approved Proposition 51 in 2016, which provided $7 billion for K-12 school facilities construction and modernization projects, then-Gov. Jerry Brown was less than supportive of the bond measure, due to his concerns over the existing School Facilities Program. As a result, his subsequent budget provided only $653 million in Proposition 51 funds, during a time when the Office...

‘Silent Recession’: Rising costs and rising challenges confront California school districts

15 Jan
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pencils and coins
California’s public schools are still struggling to meet basic needs even as the state’s economy has rebounded from the Great Recession, analysis finds. Against the backdrop of a strike in the Los Angeles Unified School District and a looming financial crisis in districts statewide, the WestEd report authors say, “The multiyear budget forecasts for California school districts are increasingly grim, and many school districts are being forced to make difficult decisions about how to maximize limited dollars to best meet...

What the $3 billion CalSTRS proposal in the 2019-20 budget means for local schools

14 Jan
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About 20 minutes into last week’s marathon budget press conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom began discussing the issue of pension cost increases – and was kind enough to name-drop California school board members and CSBA in the process. Watch a clip of Gov. Newsom discussing pension relief (Jan. 10, 2019) “We are adding an additional $3 billion into immediate relief to school districts to address their STRS anxiety…” the Governor said, in a statement met with off-screen applause from Superintendent of...

Statement on the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Budget Proposal

11 Jan
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“We are encouraged by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget, particularly his commitment to the Local Control Funding Formula, school construction, services for young children and families, and recognition of the challenges facing school districts in the form of rising costs for pensions and special education. The Governor has demonstrated an appreciation of the critical issues facing public schools as we work to provide the next generation of Californians with the tools needed to expand our prosperity and ensure that every...

Protecting existing school funding while fighting for Full and Fair Funding

19 Dec
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By Mike Ambrose Full and Fair Funding is crucial for student success, and research continues to demonstrate that increasing funding to education makes an important and lasting impact on students, particularly for students in high-need and low-income schools. Nonetheless, despite boasting the fifth-largest economy in the world and the highest gross domestic product of any state, California sits near the bottom nationally in nearly every significant measure of school funding and school staffing. Even with improvements to funding levels in...

New faces and new bills as 2019-20 legislative session begins

5 Dec
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At Monday’s kickoff to the 2019-20 legislative session, both the Senate and Assembly held their respective organizational sessions to seat newly-elected members. Eight seats in the Assembly change hands for 2019-20, as do nine seats in the Senate. On Monday, the desk was also opened for 2019-20 bill introductions, with 198 bills submitted thus far. Following the organizational sessions, the Legislature stands in recess until January. Click here to download an Excel table from the California Department of Education on...

Time for the State to Step Up on Facilities Funding

27 Nov
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public school building
-By Mike Walsh When we talk about Full and Fair Funding for California’s public schools, we often look at the big picture — per-pupil funding levels. That’s natural, since California ranks just 41st nationally in the funding it provides the state’s public school students. This hinders districts and county offices of education in our quest to provide all students with a high-quality education and prepare every graduate for success in college, career and civic life. Yet, while California’s dismal per-pupil...

Advanced courses in short supply at low-income schools

8 Nov
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computer science
As schools celebrate National STEM Day, more work is needed to increase access to advanced courses — particularly in science and math — new information shows. The new CSBA brief, “Supporting STEM Access, Equity, and Effectiveness: Equitable Access to Rigorous STEAM Coursework”, finds there will be openings for more than one million jobs in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) in the next decade. But uneven access to STEM courses for many California students presents a challenge to...

More than 300 districts eligible for $9.5M in drinking water grants

2 Nov
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Districts and schools across California looking for help with drinking water projects are encouraged to apply for funding through the State Water Resources Control Board. The agency has a program that provides $9.5 million in grants to increase access to safe drinking water by replacing fixtures containing lead, among other issues, and a local grant match is not required. A list of eligible districts is available here (Excel document), but schools serving disadvantaged communities may still be eligible even if...

2018 state assessments show minimal gains; achievement gaps remain

3 Oct
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African-American teacher
The latest standardized tests scores for California’s students show relatively flat results from previous years with minimal progress made for students overall. While Latino students improved at a slightly higher rate than the average, African-American student improvements were smaller than the overall increase, contributing to a growing achievement gap that Education Trust–West says could take a generation or more to close. California’s Department of Education made public the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP,...