from The Education Coalition (see following)
March 20, 2013
School Finance Principles for the 2013-14 Budget
The Governor’s Budget proposal to fund Proposition 98 at a level that reflects the increased revenues from the November 2012 election and his effort to eliminate the wall of debt by paying down deferrals is supported by the Education Coalition. This reflects the Coalition’s long standing principle to protect the integrity of the Proposition 98 guarantee.
The Education Coalition also reaffirms that the use of new revenues to fund cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), enrollment growth, and to start reversing the deep budget cuts that were made to California’s public schools should be a priority. California continues to be the 8th largest economy in the world and our academic standards are among the most rigorous in the country, but our investment in education is among the lowest compared to other states. California is 49th in per-pupil spending at $8,482, which was 28 percent below the national average of $11,824 according to the Education Week’s annual survey released in January 2013.
Outstanding obligations and cuts exceed $20 billion: Deferrals (after Governor’s Proposed 2013-14 repayment)
K-12 Williams Emergency Repair
K-12 Revenue Limits
After five years of sustained cuts, restoring these funds to the base budgets is important to get schools back on the path of providing high quality educational services to our students.
During deliberations for the 2013-14 budget, the Education Coalition urges the Legislature and the Governor to consider the following additional principles:
1. Long-term Goal. The long-term school finance objective is to provide adequate funding to ensure CA is in the top ten states of per pupil funding in the United States. This is consistent with the goals specified in Proposition 98.
2. No cuts. There should be no cuts to any school district or county office of education.
3. Neediest Students. Students with greater needs should be provided more resources for their education.
4. Timing. There are numerous logistical and policy reasons that will make it difficult for some school districts to fully implement the LCFF in 2013-14, including the need to reconfigure data systems and student testing systems. It is also important to allow governing boards and district leadership sufficient time to provide program direction and instruction prior to the start of the instructional year.
5. Accountability & Transparency. The Local Control Funding Formula must include transparency and accountability provisions to enable meaningful input and oversight by parents, educators, community members and the public.
6. Comparison. In its deliberations on the Local Control Funding Formula we encourage the legislature to consider a comparison of district-by-district budget allocations under the Local Control Funding formula for the 2013-14 fiscal year to budget allocations that would take place in 2013-14 under current law.
Policy Changes Proposed in the Budget Should Get a Full Policy Committee Hearing
There are a number of proposals in the budget which represent major policy changes to how education and programs will operate beginning in the 2013-14 year. Within many of these topics, there are significant issues that are worthy of further discussion and deliberation. The Education Coalition urges the Legislature to hold policy hearings on these proposals to provide an opportunity for all interested parties to express their views and suggest changes where appropriate. The issues contained in the budget which merit discussion in the policy committees include:
• A new K-12 school finance funding formula known as the Local Control Funding Formula [LCFF] and a new funding formula for county offices of education
• New accountability requirements for the Local Control Funding Formula
• Changes to the adult education system
• Permanent changes in routine maintenance contributions, deferred maintenance and surplus property
• Elimination of maintenance and deferred maintenance match for K-12 schools
• Facility, finance and oversight proposals for charter schools
• Changes in special education finance
• Policy changes to online instruction
• Use of Proposition 39 funds approved by the voters in November 2012 for energy efficiency projects and its treatment in Proposition 98 base
As the legislature reviews these issues in policy committees, the Education Coalition would like them to consider the recommendations which follow:
Principles of Accountability
The state has a responsibility to maintain an adequately funded system of public schools and to ensure that the system serves the needs of all students. If there is to be a new finance formula:
• There should be equitable and objective standards and metrics to evaluate a district’s plan.
• The plan should focus on all students, and to the extent that supplemental funds are provided to support the higher costs associated with serving needy populations, the plan should address how the needs of those populations are to be met.
• Stakeholders must be involved in the development of the state template and district plans. Districts must have a process in place for ensuring input into the plan from local stakeholders.
• The plan and review process should include interim benchmarks to ensure a district is on track to meet 5-year goals, and an annual reporting of a district's actual expenditures relative to its plan.
• The same principles of accountability should apply to charter schools.
The Administration has left Home-to-School Transportation out of the LCFF and stipulates that the funds can be used for any educational purpose. The Coalition recommends that the School Transportation program, like all categorical education programs, receive a 1.65 percent COLA and be restored the 20 percent categorical education cut. In addition, we recommend that the disparity in funding among districts be reduced while maintaining current funding levels as the minimum base guarantee.
County Offices of Education
The Governor’s budget proposes a new funding formula for County offices of education that is consistent with the Governor’s principles of local flexibility and transparency, and provides for a programmatic and fiscal transition from the current system. In accordance with our position on the Local Control Funding Formula, this should also go through the policy committee process. However the Education Coalition is in support of this new funding formula for county offices of education, as it addresses long-standing issues of inequities and underfunding for county offices and programs.
The Governor’s budget proposes a number of policy changes for charter schools. The Coalition holds the following positions:
• Facility Grants for Non-classroom based charters. Opposes expansion of the Charter School Facility Grant program to include eligibility for non-classroom based charter schools. There is no demonstrated need to allocate facility funds for charters that do not require a classroom.
• Surplus Property. Opposes extending for five additional years the requirement that school districts with identified surplus property first offer to sell those resources to charter schools. Further, the current law provision prohibits districts from offering facilities to charters at fair market value. This restriction impairs a district’s ability to exercise sound management practices to financially manage property.
• Delegation of State Board Approved Charter School Oversight. Opposes expansion of the delegation of charter school oversight to any educational entity in the state. Current law authorizes the State Board to delegate oversight of charters to any LEA in the county were the application originated. The proposed change allows any educational entity in the state to have oversight responsibilities. Oversight makes more sense with the entity that is within closest proximity of the charter. We believe a change in the current law provision is unnecessary.
Treatment of California Clean Energy Jobs Act [Proposition 39] Revenues
The Governor’s budget proposes to count all Proposition 39 revenues toward the calculation of the Proposition 98 guarantee. The Coalition is in support of the revenue calculation and opposes the Legislative Analyst’s recommendation on their calculation of the guarantee.
THE EDUCATION COALITION -- Working together to support and improve California’s public schools is:
Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) representing more than 16,000 school administrators
California Association Of School Business Officials (CASBO) representing more than 4,000 school business officials
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) representing all 58 county superintendents throughout California
California Federation of Teachers (CFT-AFL-CIO) representing nearly 90,000 education employees
California School Boards Association (CSBA) representing nearly 1,000 K-12 school districts and county offices of education throughout California
California School Employees Association (CSEA) representing more than 230,000 classified school employees
California State PTA representing more than one million parents, teachers, and students in California
California Teachers Association (CTA) representing over 325,000 educators
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) representing more than 50,000 school employees in California