The Senate has dropped its call for a year’s delay in implementing Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for sweeping K-12 finance reform, making it likely a deal over Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula will be struck in the next few days, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Thursday.
Steinberg made the prediction during a public luncheon address in Sacramento with Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California.
Taking an extra year to work out details on finance reform was one of the key differences with Brown in Senate Bill 69, the version of the funding formula that the Senate passed last week. Other key differences remain, however. The Senate version eliminates the concentration grant, the extra dollars for low-income students and English learners that Brown would provide districts in which targeted students constitute at least a majority of students. The Senate calls for using that money – about 4 percent of the formula – to raise the base per student funding for all students. The Senate also would preserve funding for career technical education – and not give districts flexibility to spend the money however they wanted.
The Assembly also passed its own variation of the LCFF, which too must be negotiated. Steinberg said he was confident the differences over school funding and other areas of the spending could be worked out by the June 15 statutory deadline for passing the state budget.