Category Archives: Funding & Finance

Funding & Finance

CEO’s Note: What a CSBA poll tells us about Californians’ views about education funding

9 Jul
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In my last CEO’s note in the spring California Schools magazine, I discussed the ongoing “big short” in how the state of California has funded its schools over the past several decades. A new statewide poll from CSBA confirms that, in a year when statewide teacher strikes persist and the financial strain of our schools becomes more prevalent in the California news cycle, the general public is also acutely aware of the funding crisis facing our schools. What is often...

CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance restores California public school funds to state budget

3 Jul
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California’s public schools will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding and avoid billions in potential losses thanks to a settlement agreement between the State of California and CSBA. The agreement ensures public schools will receive repayment of $686 million (approximately $110 per student) due to prior year underpayments. It also contains provisions that could protect up to 1 percent of the Proposition 98 guarantee ($756 million in 2017–18 and potentially more in subsequent years) as part of...

Together, we can achieve Full and Fair Funding — if we keep the pressure on

26 Jun
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Last month, I had the great pleasure of addressing thousands of education advocates from across California, including board members, teachers, superintendents, parents and classified staff, at the Day of Action Rally for Education on May 22 at the State Capitol. It was an exciting day that began with a personal meeting with Gov. Gavin Newsom and CSBA representatives including myself, President-elect Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, Vice President Tamara Otero, CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy and Assistant Executive Director of Governmental...

California on track for middling status in annual Quality Counts report card

12 Jun
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students taking test
Education Week has released the second installment of its yearly “Quality Counts 2019: Grading the states” report cards. The project’s aim is to show which states do the best job in preparing students for successful futures in college and career. The measurements are based on a range of family, school and socioeconomic indicators; financial indicators; and achievement indicators. The project is released in three parts: The first installment is based on Education Week’s “Chance-for-Success Index,” which surveys a range of...

Commentary: ‘The root cause of teacher strikes is found not in Oakland or Los Angeles, but in Sacramento’

6 Jun
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“2019 is becoming the Year of the Teacher Strike, a phenomenon four decades in the making,” CSBA CEO and Executive Director Vernon M. Billy writes in a new opinion piece in The Sacramento Bee, pointing out recent strikes in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and the New Haven Unified School District in the Bay Area. “Since the 1970s, California has consistently shortchanged public education and tarnished a school system which was once the state’s crown jewel,” Billy says. “Forty years ago,...

The limited impact but substantial importance of Cal Fire v. CalPERS

31 May
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On March 4, 2019, the California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the appellate court’s decision in Cal Fire 2881 v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System, upholding the 2012 elimination of a pension benefit for public employees. The narrow decision in favor of the State will not have much effect on school boards and county offices of education, but the Court’s decision is still significant. The law at issue In 2012, the Legislature enacted the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of...

Enthusiastic Capitol crowd calls for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools

23 May
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From Humboldt County, Monterey, San Diego and beyond, school leaders converged on Sacramento by the busload on May 22 to make their voices heard and to fight for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools. About 200 school board members took that fight to the steps of the State Capitol, where they joined thousands including CSBA staff, the California Teachers Association and other education partners in an afternoon Day of Action Rally for Education. Whether teacher, administrator, school employee,...

CEO’s Note: The ‘big short’ in California school funding

22 May
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by Vernon M. Billy This past January, educators across the state (and nation) were fixated on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s six-day teacher’s strike. The LAUSD strike was followed almost immediately by a seven-day work stoppage in Oakland and a highly publicized one-day walkout for Sacramento USD teachers on April 11. These bargaining conflicts in some of California’s largest urban school districts are representative of the funding crisis looming large in districts across the state. The undeniable fact is...

Commentary: Fighting for students, rallying for public schools

21 May
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“Every student should graduate high school prepared for success in college, career and civic life. Unfortunately, our ability to deliver on this promise has been compromised by 40 years of underinvestment in public schools,” write Burbank Unified School District leaders in a new commentary published by the Los Angeles Times. “If we want to meet our responsibilities to the next generation of Californians, adequate funding must be restored so that we can reduce class sizes, retain and recruit quality educators,...

Reserve cap trigger looming: What districts need to know

7 May
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pencils and coins
In one of those déjà vu moments, we are growing concerned about the possible “trigger” of the school district reserve cap in the next fiscal year. While it is still early, CSBA wants to alert all school board members, superintendents and chief business officials of the possibility the reserve cap will go into effect for non-basic aid school districts with more than 2,500 average daily attendance. Current year conditions of the state General Fund remain healthy and prospects for the...