November 20, 2020

California’s highly-regarded Legislative Analyst’s Office caught doomsayers off guard this week with its annual financial outlook for the state budget: A fast economic rebound from a recession that has largely spared the richest Californians will produce a windfall of revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges next year.

The LAOs’ K-12 expert, Edgar Cabral, discusses why and previews a dilemma facing Gov. Newsom and the Legislature: whether to use the financial bonanza to pay off $12.5 billion in deferrals – the late payments to school districts they imposed to avoid funding cuts in this year’s budget– or give districts more money to spend next year.

Also, this year’s presidential election exposed a public largely ignorant of the basics of the democratic process. Erica Hodgin, co-author of a new report by UC Riverside and UCLA on the sad state of civics education in schools, suggests ways to rejuvenate it, including a new incentive, the State Seal of Civic Engagement.

For background on these issues, check out the following: