Source: California Channel webcast

Gov. Jerry Brown presents the May revision of the 2015-16 state budget on May 14 in Sacramento.

Spending for K-12 schools in the coming year will be $6 billion more than Gov. Jerry Brown proposed just five months ago, raising per-student spending $3,000 – 45 percent – from what it was four years ago, according to the revised state budget that the governor released on Thursday.

State revenues have surged this year, and K-12 schools and community colleges will haul in nearly every penny because of Proposition 98, the constitutional amendment that puts schools first in line for restoring funding when the economy rebounds after a recession.

The new level of Prop. 98 spending for K-12 schools and community colleges will be $68.4 billion in 2015-16. That is $7.5 billion more than the Legislature appropriated last June for the current year. Surging revenues, which are projected to continue into next year, will bring the total increase for schools next year to nearly $14 billion in Prop. 98 spending (see pages 13-22 of state budget summary).

But warning that “the reality is another recession is coming,” Brown is splitting the increase between ongoing spending, one-time expenditures and paying off debts.

Local Control Funding: The Local Control Funding Formula, which provides general spending to schools, will remain his top priority. It will get $6.1 billion more next year, or about $1,000 more per student on average, with districts with higher proportions of English language learners and low-income children receiving more.

Paying off mandates: About $3.5 billion ($2.4 billion more than in the January budget) will pay for unreimbursed mandated expenses. Districts and county offices of education can use this money however they want, although the governor is encouraging them to spend it on implementing the new Common Core and science standards.

“I think there’s an expectation and hope that it will be put into Common Core implementation,” said David Plank, executive director of Policy Analysis for California Education, or PACE, a research center based at Stanford University, “Common Core is hard work and the money, I think, will be greatly received and put to good use.”

But Education Trust-West, an advocacy group for low-income and minority students, criticized Brown for not requiring districts to use the money for Common Core. “Districts will be pressured to use these funds for many other competing priorities,” it said in a statement. “We missed an opportunity to ensure our state standards will truly make a difference for all of our students.”

Special education: The Statewide Special Education Task Force, a group convened in 2013 to propose improvements to special education in California, received recognition in the revised budget – and $60 million for some of the actions it recommended. This includes  $50 million in ongoing funding and $10 million in one-time funding to expand interventions for special-needs children under two years old, add 2,500 additional preschool slots prioritized for special-needs children and expand data-driven schoolwide behavioral supports.

End of deferrals: About $1 billion will pay off the final late payments to districts, known as deferrals, which forced districts to borrow money, sometimes at high interest rates, while waiting for state funding.

Advocates for young children and the Legislative Women’s Caucus had called on Brown to provide $600 million more for child care for low-income families by shifting that expense into Prop. 98. The Legislative Analyst’s Office had suggested freeing up money for non-Prop. 98 spending by adjusting property taxes that go toward education funding.

But Michael Cohen, director of the Department of Finance, said he was “not interested in manipulating the Prop. 98 guarantee” and “plopping things into 98” to spend additional money. The department, he said, distinguished programs that qualify for education funding.

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, who chairs the Assembly Budget Committee’s education subcommittee, said that she shares the “strong sentiment” to include more money for child care in Prop. 98, where that funding was included until it was shifted in 2010-11. The issue will be negotiated with the administration, she said.

Praise from education groups

Education groups generally had high praise for the revised budget. Plank called it a “spectacularly good budget for K-12.” Kevin Gordon, president of Capitol Advisors, a lobbying firm representing school districts and county offices of education, said it was “one of the best budgets for K-12 I have ever seen. It has fully discretionary money with no strings attached. That normally doesn’t happen.”

The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that extra revenue in the May budget revision will raise K-12 Proposition 98 funding to $9,978 per student –$656 per student higher than the inflation-adjusted, pre-recession spending level  in 2007-08. The LAO’s  estimate for 2014-15 includes one-time spending of $700 per student more than districts anticipated when they built their 2014-15 budgets; that money, totaling $4.3 billion, will be spent in 2015-16 and subsequent years. (click to enlarge.)

Source: Legislative Analyst's Office

The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that extra revenue in the May budget revision will raise K-12 Proposition 98 funding to $9,978 per student –$656 per student higher than the inflation-adjusted, pre-recession spending level in 2007-08. The LAO’s estimate for 2014-15 includes one-time spending of $700 per student more than districts anticipated when they built their 2014-15 budgets; that money, totaling $4.3 billion, will be spent in 2015-16 and subsequent years. (click to enlarge.)

Adonai Mack, legislative advocate for the Association of California School Administrators, said his organization agrees with Brown’s priorities and appreciates that the governor didn’t permit other programs to encroach on Prop. 98 spending. “It’s a very good budget for public education,” he said.

Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, said the budget reflected the right priorities in funding education and creating a new tax credit for low-income workers. But he added, “we have a long way to go before we restore the programs in education and social services we lost to a decade of budget cuts,” and called for making temporary taxes under Proposition 30 permanent.

Double-digit spending increases for schools is not expected to continue past next year. State revenues are expected to flatten with the expiration of temporary increases in the state sales tax and the income tax on the wealthiest 1 percent. And the portion of the revenue going to K-12 schools and community colleges will decline after next year to about the standard 40 percent of the general budget after past obligations to Prop. 98 are fully paid off. Called the maintenance factor, it was as high as $11 billion as a result of cuts made during the recession, but will be under $800 million after next year.

The new Prop. 98 numbers will ease anxiety in Los Angeles Unified, whose board approved a 10 percent pay increase for teachers without knowing how the district would cover the expense. District officials said Thursday that the $300 million to $400 million in additional state money next year – half for ongoing costs and half in one-time funds – would cover the costs of teacher raises. But they said they were unsure if they can avoid teacher layoffs next school year or how they will pay for promised future raises.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that extra revenue in the May budget revision will raise K-12 Prop. 98 funding to $9,978 per student –$656 per student higher than the inflation-adjusted, pre-recession spending level in 2007-08. However, under the new funding formula, some districts with fewer English learners and low-income students are still well below that figure. And all districts will face substantial increases in pension costs for teachers, which will rise an additional $3.7 billion collectively over the next four years.

Reporters Jane Meredith Adams, Susan Frey, Michelle Maitre and Sarah Tully contributed to the coverage of the state budget.


Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Comments Policy

The goal of the comments section on EdSource is to facilitate thoughtful conversation about content published on our website. Click here for EdSource's Comments Policy.

Expand Comments
Collapse Comments
  1. Dawn Urbanek 8 months ago8 months ago

    The Media is misleading the public when they report that Governor Brown is increasing per pupil funding by $3,000 over 2011-12. If you read the LAO report Governor Brown is not increasing the Base Funding Grant from $6,500 to $9,500 he is simply giving one time money of $3,000 per student. As such- Districts will not be able to restore any on-going programs. This does nothing but give unions the rights to ask for a … Read More

    The Media is misleading the public when they report that Governor Brown is increasing per pupil funding by $3,000 over 2011-12. If you read the LAO report Governor Brown is not increasing the Base Funding Grant from $6,500 to $9,500 he is simply giving one time money of $3,000 per student. As such- Districts will not be able to restore any on-going programs. This does nothing but give unions the rights to ask for a higher raise. It will mean nothing to the actual classroom.

    http://www.lao.ca.gov/…/3305/fiscal-outlook-111815.pdf page 19 – 27

    The Truth About Education Funding – http://www.slideshare.net/DawnUrbanek/fundraising-for-core-educational-programs

  2. ernest avellar 1 year ago1 year ago

    Good news that schools are getting more; however, it is imperative that studies be made how they are using the money. Recent data show that for years--no matter how much they receive-- they only spend about 60% of their budget on the classroom (teacher salaries, books, etc.) The other 40% goes to overhead..not all essential There is a national organization, called the "65%" which advocates at least that amount be spent … Read More

    Good news that schools are getting more; however, it is imperative that studies be made how they are using the money. Recent data show that for years–no matter how much they receive– they only spend about 60% of their budget on the classroom (teacher salaries, books, etc.) The other 40% goes to overhead..not all essential There is a national organization, called the “65%” which advocates at least that amount be spent on the classroom.

    Just one component, the 58 county offices of education, receive about $ 6 million. It is difficult to ascertain if this incomes from the $68 billion that is slated for K-12 and Community Colleges in 2015-16. Many studies (e..g, Little Hoover Commission) show that reorganization is need for the county offices of education.The seven counties that have small populations have no local school districts and the county offices are needed. As for the other counties, maybe what they provide could be done better under other paradigms. On the average, they only spend about 25% of their budget on the classroom.They are a haven for consultants and administrators.

    There is also an unknown amount spent on the Department of Education. How do they spend their money? No one actually watches over them, because the elected SPI has limited authority over the political-appointed board..

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 1 year ago1 year ago

      Ernest: Your figure for out-of-classroom overhead is much higher than I have seen. Can you provide a link?

      CDE’s budget is not unknown. Its budget is about $250 million, with the federal government picking up two-thirds of the tab as its main responsibility has become overseeing federal programs. It has a staff of about 1,500. You can read the Legislative Analyst’s study on the department here.

      • navigio 8 months ago8 months ago

        There has been an effort to define a minimum amount that should be directed toward classrooms as a goal to avoid 'wasting' money for 'non-essential' expenditures. The movement referenced above used 65% as the appropriate goal, and claimed that NCES data shows that some amount much less than that is what generally gets spent in classrooms (varies by state and district). California has its own version of this requirement specified in ed code 41372. Each … Read More

        There has been an effort to define a minimum amount that should be directed toward classrooms as a goal to avoid ‘wasting’ money for ‘non-essential’ expenditures. The movement referenced above used 65% as the appropriate goal, and claimed that NCES data shows that some amount much less than that is what generally gets spent in classrooms (varies by state and district).
        California has its own version of this requirement specified in ed code 41372. Each year districts are required to submit form CEA (current expense of education per ADA) in order to prove they are in compliance with ed code 41372. That requires classroom compensation to make up at least 60% of a district’s current expense of education for an elementary district, 50% for a high school district, and 55% for a unified district. Most districts include this form with their published budgets, though because its usually a single page its invariably impossible to find there. Some districts do publish it separately.
        Note that in contrast to what happens in other states, in California this percentage only covers classroom compensation (teachers and classroom aides) and not books and other supplies.

  3. John Kulic 1 year ago1 year ago

    Here we go again with the unnecessary spending with the schools. The state will see what happens at the last quarter of the year when we go into a recession again. How much is enough?

  4. Replies

    • Ed Advocate 1 year ago1 year ago

      It's not going to happen, Jeff, unless it is traded for a pound of flesh. Watch this hearing on it from this week, on this website: http://www.calchannel.com/recent-archive/ then click on "Assembly Education Committee" for May 13, 2015. It starts at 17:00. You will not believe your ears. The CTA and the governor (from what I heard) forced lawmakers (are they not supposed to listen to their constituents?) to NOT repeal it. They literally have no … Read More

      It’s not going to happen, Jeff, unless it is traded for a pound of flesh. Watch this hearing on it from this week, on this website: http://www.calchannel.com/recent-archive/ then click on “Assembly Education Committee” for May 13, 2015. It starts at 17:00. You will not believe your ears. The CTA and the governor (from what I heard) forced lawmakers (are they not supposed to listen to their constituents?) to NOT repeal it. They literally have no idea what they are talking about. Sad. Also, after pension obligations, common core, tech investments, step and column salary increases and raises in some districts, California schools are well positioned for big trouble.

  5. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    The budget of Lowell High School in San Francisco where my son attends school is lower today than it was 4 years ago. The school's budget is $12,036,624 this year compared with $12,945,496 in 2010-11 with the same student count, give or take a few. If the California education budget is 45% higher than 4 years ago where is all the money going? Why are these students seeing loses not gains? … Read More

    The budget of Lowell High School in San Francisco where my son attends school is lower today than it was 4 years ago. The school’s budget is $12,036,624 this year compared with $12,945,496 in 2010-11 with the same student count, give or take a few. If the California education budget is 45% higher than 4 years ago where is all the money going? Why are these students seeing loses not gains? The Governor talks about substantially increased per pupil funding and claims to have an accountability system that works, yet with all the talk of more money, it seems to be just a a lot of hokum for this school.

  6. Jeff Camp 1 year ago1 year ago

    The "$3,000 per student increase" figure is REALLY misleading. It's not fair to measure from the bottom of the grave to the top of the pile of dirt that will fill it back in. The big picture is that California's budget for education is returning to a version of normal, but California's normal, per student, remains far below the national norm - especially when cost of living is taken into account. Meanwhile, after seven … Read More

    The “$3,000 per student increase” figure is REALLY misleading. It’s not fair to measure from the bottom of the grave to the top of the pile of dirt that will fill it back in.

    The big picture is that California’s budget for education is returning to a version of normal, but California’s normal, per student, remains far below the national norm – especially when cost of living is taken into account. Meanwhile, after seven years of drought the teacher hiring pipeline has dried up and schools have accrued a ton of deferred maintenance.

    California’s boom-bust public finance system does real harm. This is a happy budget, and good news. But the systemic problems are still serious.

    Replies

    • SD Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

      I agree with Jeff. I'd like to see the LAO do a follow-up to their 2012 "Year-Three Survey: Update on School District Finance in California." I'm seeing more evidence of pay restoration and the LCFF-mandated restoration of K-3 class sizes than general restoration of programs and services cut during the recession (not to mention new or expanded programs and services for low-income, English learners, and foster youth, on whom a significant portion … Read More

      I agree with Jeff. I’d like to see the LAO do a follow-up to their 2012 “Year-Three Survey: Update on School District Finance in California.” I’m seeing more evidence of pay restoration and the LCFF-mandated restoration of K-3 class sizes than general restoration of programs and services cut during the recession (not to mention new or expanded programs and services for low-income, English learners, and foster youth, on whom a significant portion of the funds are supposed to be spent). A study would show just what all that “extra” money can actually buy…

  7. Ed Advocate 1 year ago1 year ago

    I hope we all remember that approx $2.4 BILLION (approx $400 per student I believe, I know it starts to go WAY up and CANNOT be adjusted if schools get less funding in a down year) and growing every year needs to go right to the pension debt the state passed on to districts because it did not deal with it in 1999 or thereafter - if districts had it then they would have managed … Read More

    I hope we all remember that approx $2.4 BILLION (approx $400 per student I believe, I know it starts to go WAY up and CANNOT be adjusted if schools get less funding in a down year) and growing every year needs to go right to the pension debt the state passed on to districts because it did not deal with it in 1999 or thereafter – if districts had it then they would have managed it. AND built in salary increases plus raises in some districts assure us there will be cuts in the near future. To top it off, Prop 30 will take $2.4 BILLION off the top – every year, AFTER Prop 30 expires – in $$ that should be going to our schools in good times. In tough times, we already know that schools shoulder the heaviest burden in the state. So, please consider . I don’t want this to be like the lottery – people think schools get all the $$. Even in 2014 we were still 38th in funding, though 4th in salaries, in the nation. That is pages 18 and 39 here – since both are not adjusted for cost of living, the comparison is relevant (we are lower in both, with COLA) http://www.nea.org/…/rankings-and-estimates-2014-2015.html Yes, better than the alternative, and not saying teachers paid enough, but schools are not even close to being out of the woods. And if we don’t get more funding class sizes will continue to increase bcs built in raises and the other expenses mentioned. Plus Prop 2 legislation re reserves cap – repeal was voted down this week would force school districts to play shell games with reserves. Again, dull financial stuff but please watch the hearing from Assembly ED May 13 AB 1048 at 17 min (http://www.calchannel.com/recent-archive/) and weep for the children of California. It truly has to be seen to be believed.

    Replies

    • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

      Good points Ed A about the additional pension payments passed onto the Districts to take right from their budgets instead of from the larger State budget. The money picture is worse than you think though - according to a WSJ analysis, between CalSTRS and CalPERS and their associated healthcare obligations, there is somewhere between $300-$500 billion in unfunded obligations that is increasing at $17 billion per year! This is not sustainable and the … Read More

      Good points Ed A about the additional pension payments passed onto the Districts to take right from their budgets instead of from the larger State budget. The money picture is worse than you think though – according to a WSJ analysis, between CalSTRS and CalPERS and their associated healthcare obligations, there is somewhere between $300-$500 billion in unfunded obligations that is increasing at $17 billion per year! This is not sustainable and the current politicians have no intention of paying it off because if they make any substantial changes to these false promises, they won’t get the backing of the numero uno political donor – the CTA. Case in point, Brown’s claim of a balanced budget – not even close even with Prop 30. Lies lies and more lies. Politics are really disgusting in this State. Sure how more voters wake up to the reality and vote these bums out.

Template last modified: