From the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Weekly Update Week of May 19, 2014 | http://bit.ly/1j2xus5
GOVERNOR BROWN PRESENTS MAY BUDGET REVISION
May 15, 2014 | While scores of speakers addressed the LAUSD Board of Education regarding budget priorities at its meeting on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, Governor Brown released the May Revision to the 2014-15 State Budget. The revision brings good news to the District as it includes more than $1 billion in additional revenue and $242 million more for schools than his January proposal. The key components of the May Revision are:
- An increase of $2.4 billion in expected revenue through 2014-15
- Maintaining funding for the LCFF with some changes
- Long range plan to eliminate CalSTRS’ unfunded liability and provide more than $1 billion to CalPERS
- Increase in the Proposition 98 guarantee
- Additional investment in state healthcare
INCREASE IN REVENUE :: The increase is driven by higher than expected personal income tax withholding, partnership income and dividend income. The Governor’s budget summary does indicate that these higher revenues may only be a one-time increase.
LOCAL CONTROL FUNDING FORMULA (LCFF) :: The budget allows school districts to more broadly define who is eligible for free- or reduced-price lunches, thereby providing some flexibility in determining low-income status. The proposal would affect more than 1 million students who fall into a gray area of free- lunch eligibility and will reduce the paperwork. Superintendent Deasy commented, “… the changes should help mitigate the burdensome process for collecting alternative forms to verify income eligibility, so that we can focus more attention on teaching and learning.” The proposed changes would also allow the districts to throw out their 2013-14 count of high-needs students, if the count for 2014-15 is higher.
CALSTRS :: This is probably the major revision to the January proposal, in that the Governor is finally forcing the legislature to do something about the unfunded liability of $74 billion. The new proposal attempts to eliminate this deficit entirely by 2045-46 (the projected year when CalSTRS will run out of money if nothing is done) by increasing employee, state and employer contributions. Employee contributions will increase to 10.25% in 2016-17 from the current 8%; employer contributions will increase from the current 8.25% to 19.1% by 2021. This proposed change will be explained further in next week’s Update. In addition, over the next three years, more than $1 billion will go to CalPERS to address the longer life expectancy of retirees.
PROPOSITION 98 :: The proposal includes an increase in the Proposition 98 guarantee, bringing more than $10 billion in new resources to schools this year, including $4.5 billion for LCFF. Other adjustments provide one-time funding for a K-12 high-speed network to address technology requirements for the Common Core State Standards and computer-based testing. There are also increases to ADA and mandated claims.
HEALTHCARE :: Due to the expansion of healthcare coverage, the state’s enrollment in Medi-Cal has increased almost 46 percent, with a backlog of 900,000 applicants waiting to be processed. California has the highest poverty rate of any state and while the federal government pays the full cost of patients who became eligible for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act, the state is responsible for half the cost for those who were already eligible but had not signed up. This has resulted in a projected annual increase of more than $1 billion.
Both the new Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) have spoken positively about the Governor’s May Revision. Now, full hearings and deliberations must begin in earnest as the Legislature must pass the 2014-15 budget by June 15.
LOS ANGELES SCHOOLS DOMINATE NATIONAL ACADEMIC DECATHLON
May 15, 2014 :: El Camino Real Charter High School captured first place in the United States Academic Decathlon national competition with a score of 52,601 points out of a possible 60,000. This is the seventh national title for ECR. Following close behind in second place and competing for its fourth consecutive national win was Granada Hills Charter High School with a score of 52,392. Individually, the El Camino Real team won 30 medals and the Granada Hills team 40.
While El Camino Real and Granada Hills were competing for the national title in Honolulu, Hawaii, Marshall High School was competing in the national online competition (eight events) that occurred simultaneously with the other competition. Marshall’s team also scored a first place victory garnering 39,461 points out of a possible 48,000, the highest score of any team in the online competition. Seven (7) of the Marshall students claimed the nine top-scoring positions for the Large School Division.
Congratulations to all competing students and their coaches for this outstanding accomplishment, which all began with LAUSD’s premier Academic Decathlon competition. LAUSD, Los Angeles and California can take great pride in the performances of these teams in the national competition.