More cash for K-12

Brown’s bud­get pro­poses in­crease in ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing

The Signal - - FRONT PAGE - By Christina Cox Sig­nal Staff Writer

With a fo­cus on the K-12 fund­ing for­mula and a fully on­line com­mu­nity col­lege in a nearly free com­mu­nity col­lege sys­tem, Gov. Jerry Brown’s pro­posed $131.7 bil­lion state bud­get for 2018-19 in­cludes sev­eral in­creases for Cal­i­for­nia’s sec­tors of public ed­u­ca­tion.

Brown un­veiled his pro­posed state bud­get to the public Wed­nes­day. The bud­get calls for an ad­di­tional $3 bil­lion to fully im­ple­ment the Lo­cal Con­trol Fund­ing For­mula (LCFF) while also adding more than $5 bil­lion to the state’s Rainy Day fund

“In ad­di­tion to the Rainy Day Fund be­ing full and ready for the next re­ces­sion… We’re fully fund­ing the Lo­cal Con­trol Fund­ing For­mula which puts out money, tak­ing into ac­count the needs of low-in­come fam­i­lies, fam­i­lies that don’t speak English at home and fos­ter care kids,” Brown said.

Over­all, ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing in 2018-19 will count for 53.6 per­cent of the state’s spend­ing, with $55.2 bil­lion, or 41.9 per­cent, spent on K-12 ed­u­ca­tion and $15.5 bil­lion, or 11.7 per­cent, spent on higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Public schools in Cal­i­for­nia serve nearly 6 mil­lion stu­dents in nearly 1,000 school dis­tricts and 1,000 char­ter schools through­out the state.

In 2018-19, Brown pro­posed to in­crease the fund­ing to K-12 to $78.3 bil­lion, re­flect­ing a 66 per­cent in­crease in fund­ing since the re­ces­sion in 2011 when fund­ing dropped to $47.3 bil­lion.

This re­flects an in­crease of $4.6 bil­lion com­pared to 2017-18 that will ex­pand the state sys­tem of tech­ni­cal sup­port, pro­vide dis­tricts with dis­cre­tionary one-time fund­ing and fully fund the state’s K-12 public ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing, the LCFF, two years ahead of sched­ule.

“Gov­er­nor Brown’s bud­get pro­posal pro­vides a big boost to our public school stu­dents,” State Su­per­in­ten­dent of Public In­struc­tion Tom Tor­lak­son said in a state­ment. It also pro­vides $16,085 for per pupil spend­ing in the next fis­cal year, com­pared with $7,008 in 2011-12. How­ever, the Cal­i­for­nia School Boards As­so­ci­a­tion—which rep­re­sents elected school board of­fi­cials and county of­fices of ed­u­ca­tion—de­clared the fund­ing not enough, as Cal­i­for­nia still lags be­hind most states in per-pupil spend­ing.

“The state of Cal­i­for­nia is still 41st out of the 50 states in per-pupil spend­ing so we are still very low when it comes to that,” said Dave Cald­well, public re­la­tions of­fi­cer for the Wil­liam S. Hart Union High School District. “We’re on the up­ward climb, but we’re still 41st out of 50.”

A ma­jor el­e­ment of the bud­get is the ad­di­tional $3 bil­lion in LCFF fund­ing to fully im­ple­ment the pro­gram two years ahead of sched­ule.

In 2013, Cal­i­for­nia en­acted LCFF to give lo­cal dis­tricts more flex­i­bil­ity over how money was spent and to fo­cus on English Learn­ers, stu­dents from low-in­come fam­i­lies and youth in fos­ter care.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is a lo­cal mat­ter,” Brown said. “The way to im­prove scores is for teach­ers to work as ef­fec­tively as they can and get the sup­port of the rest of the school and the prin­ci­pal and the school board.”

But an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by CAL­mat­ters into the ini­tia­tive found that the lo­cal fund­ing is dif­fi­cult to track and pro­duced lit­tle re­sults for stu­dents in strug­gling schools or for stu­dents that are dis­ad­van­taged.

To in­crease ac­count­abil­ity for the new fund­ing, Brown pro­posed that dis­tricts link their Lo­cal Con­trol and Ac­count­abil­ity Plan (LCAP) and their bud­gets to show how the fund­ing is be­ing used to in­crease stu­dent achievement.

Lo­cal dis­tricts are still wait­ing to see what fi­nal im­pact the gov­er­nor’s bud­get will have on their in­di­vid­ual fund­ing and re­sources, as items can change after the bud­get’s May Re­vise and adop­tion in the sum­mer.

“There are so many vari­ables,” Cald­well said. “The LCFF can swing things for our district a cou­ple of different ways… We’re just wait­ing and see­ing how it’s go­ing to af­fect us.”

The bud­get also pro­poses an in­crease in spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing, with an ad­di­tional $125 mil­lion in Propo­si­tion 98 funds and $42.2 mil­lion fed­eral Tem­po­rary As­sis­tance for Needy Fam­i­lies (TANF) funds. It also pro­poses ded­i­cat­ing $100 mil­lion to in­creas­ing and re­tain­ing spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teach­ers in Cal­i­for­nia.

An­other fo­cus in K-12 ed­u­ca­tion is the de­vel­op­ment of the Ca­reer Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Strong Work­force De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram.

The $212 mil­lion in ad­di­tional fund­ing will be aimed at in­creas­ing the Ca­reer Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams ad­min­is­tered through lo­cal com­mu­nity col­leges’ Strong Work­force Pro­grams.

Higher Ed­u­ca­tion

With an in­crease of $892.8 mil­lion in higher ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing, the pro­posed bud­get pro­vides $33.7 bil­lion in higher ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing and gives each univer­sity sys­tem an an­nual 3 per­cent in­crease in fund­ing.

These in­creases re­flect “flat tuition,” and Brown stated that he hopes uni­ver­si­ties and com­mu­nity col­leges con­tinue to im­prove their stu­dents’ suc­cess with­out tuition in­creases.

Pro­posed fund­ing for Cal­i­for­nia Com­mu­nity Col­lege also in­creased by 4 per­cent, of $570 mil­lion, in the bud­get.

“We’re pleased to see the gov­er­nor rec­og­nizes the value that com­mu­nity col­leges pro­vide, both in pre­par­ing stu­dents for univer­sity trans­fer and in pro­vid­ing the ca­reer ed­u­ca­tion needed to meet Cal­i­for­nia’s dy­namic work­force needs,” Col­lege of the Canyons Chan­cel­lor Dianne Van Hook said.

As the na­tion’s largest sys­tem of higher ed­u­ca­tion, Cal­i­for­nia Com­mu­nity Col­leges serve 2.1 mil­lion stu­dents at 114 cam­puses through­out the state. In 2017, this sys­tem of higher ed­u­ca­tion cre­ated a “Vi­sion of Suc­cess” strate­gic plan fo­cused on im­prov­ing stu­dent out­comes.

To sup­port this strate­gic plan, the bud­get calls on the state to re­move the cur­rent ap­por­tion­ment fund­ing for­mula that counts the num­ber of stu­dents at a desk at a cer­tain time.

In­stead, the new fund­ing for­mula would en­cour­age com­mu­nity col­leges to en­roll un­der­rep­re­sented stu­dents and re­wards col­leges that im­prove stu­dents’ suc­cess for de­gree and cer­tifi­cate com­ple­tion. No district is ex­pected to re­ceive less fund­ing as the new for­mula is im­ple­mented, ac­cord­ing to Brown.

The bud­get also ded­i­cates $120 mil­lion to cre­at­ing the state’s first fully on­line com­mu­nity col­lege, aimed at serv­ing older stu­dents who are in the work­force but lack a post­sec­ondary de­gree or cre­den­tial.

“It’s im­por­tant be­cause there are peo­ple 25, 30, 35 or older that are in the work­force that just have a high school de­gree and don’t have the skills they re­ally need to im­prove their in­come and im­prove their job prospects,” Brown said.

The on­line col­lege is ex­pected to serve adults who do not have the time or abil­ity to en­roll in tra­di­tional col­lege classes.

“Cal­i­for­nia com­mu­nity col­leges are serv­ing 2.1 mil­lion stu­dents each year, but we are still not meet­ing the needs of 2.5 mil­lion oth­ers who for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons can­not at­tend classes on our cam­puses,” Com­mu­nity Col­leges Chan­cel­lor Eloy Or­tiz Oak­ley said in a state­ment. The bud­get also pro­vides $46 mil­lion in fund­ing to im­ple­ment the Cal­i­for­nia Col­lege Prom­ise, or Assem­bly Bill 19, that waives tuition fees for first-year, full-time stu­dents.

Un­der this law, stu­dents en­rolled in 12 units or more per se­mes­ter will have some or all of the $46-per-unit fee waived dur­ing their first year of com­mu­nity col­lege.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.