Friday, May 15, 2015



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File photo: Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his revised 2015-2016 budget plan in Sacramento Thursday. Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Education groups generally like Brown’s revised budget plan

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez | KPCC 89.3 |

File photo: Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his revised 2015-2016 budget plan in Sacramento Thursday. Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Audio from this story | 0:50 Listen

15 May 2015  ::  Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal increasing funding by billions for education from a record $115.3 billion budget plan for the next fiscal year drew mostly applause after it was unveiled on Thursday.

The positive reaction was mixed with disappointment from some lawmakers and education groups who hoped the governor would embrace their ideas for more funding in areas like child care and teacher training in the new learning standards known as the Common Core.

Funding for California K-12 public schools and community colleges is set to increase by $6 billion in the 2015- 2016 fiscal year under Brown's revision to his budget proposal first unveiled in January.

There was little question that education would be the largest beneficiaries of an improving economy and increasing state revenues. A California law guarantees that about 40 percent of the budget go to public education.

Highlights of the governor's budget revision, sometimes called the May Revise, include:

• Agreement with University of California President Janet Napolitano to freeze tuition for two years in exchange for help to pay down the UC system's pension liability and a cap on pension benefits for new employees.

• A big slice to hire more public school teachers to reduce class sizes that ballooned when the state sharply cut education funding during recession.

• Funds to help the California State University increase its enrollment by 4,000 students, speed up graduations, and help more community college students transfer into the CSU system.

California teachers may also be in line for pay increases.

“Everybody says teachers don’t get paid much and this will help them get paid more and will help create programs and will fund programs that have been cut. There’s been a lot of cuts here,” Brown said.

The governor's office said the proposed increase for public schools translates into a 45 percent funding hike over the the last four years.

Reaction mostly positive

The budget plan drew largely compliments, although some disparaging words signal that more debate over education funding is just down the road.

“The Governor makes a good start with the May Revision. However, 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,” said California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt in a written statement.

Brown is also proposing $2.4 billion in one-time funds for public schools. He is leaving it up to school districts to decide whether to use the money to train teachers on the new Common Core learning standards or to pay for costs the state forced schools to carry out but didn’t pay for.

“We applaud the governor’s recognition that decisions on how to meet the needs of our students are best made at the local level and not in Sacramento. We support the governor’s plan to give discretion to school districts in investing one-time funding,” L.A. Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in a written statement.

One education think tank, however, criticized the governor for leaving it up to school districts to decide how to use those funds.

“Without additional funding dedicated exclusively to implementing new standards, California runs the risk of exacerbating the achievement gap, since some students will be left with teachers who are unprepared, materials that are inadequate, and classrooms without 21st century technology,” the advocacy group Education Trust-West said in a news release.

Some community colleges would enjoy a spending spree as more funds would allow campuses to open up additional classes following recession-era cuts. Brown’s budget plan includes $75 million in funds to hire more full-time community college faculty.

“Those funds, combined with the additional $141.7 million for increased operating expenses, will have a direct impact for students across California,” said Jonathan Lightman, the executive director of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

The governor also wants to give the 112-campus community college system $600 million to fund a “student success” initiative that provides students with more counseling and tutoring so they can earn their degrees quickly.

Settlement over UC tuition

The governor said the new budget proposal includes $436 million from a voter-approved debt fund to help the University of California reduce its ballooning pension obligations. In return, UC administrators agreed to suspend a planned 5 percent student tuition increase for two years.

The deal settles a highly public dispute between Brown, who opposed the tuition increases, and Napolitano, who argued the state's funding was inadequate to run the UC system.  They met in a two-person committee over several months to work out the compromise reflected in the budget plan.

The $158 million in new funding for the California State University would increase enrollment by 4,000 students. But those allocations aren’t enough for some higher education advocates who say that black and other students of color are being squeezed out of public higher education in California.

“When the CSU turned away 30,000 eligible applicants in 2013-14, and since 2009 has turned away over 139,000 eligible applicants, the funding in the Governor’s proposal for an additional 4,000 students is woefully inadequate,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity in a statement.

“The complete absence of enrollment growth funding for the UC is disturbing. Last year alone, 11,183 eligible students were denied admission to UC campuses to which they applied,” she said.

There were signs as well that the budget plan will undergo hard bargaining when it is taken up in Sacramento, and it'll involve members of Brown's own party.

State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins said she and her colleagues want the budget to help reduce poverty, restore funding for public education, and early childhood education, among other goals.

Because the governor did not include additional funding for expanding state-funded child care, Atkins suggested she’ll find a way to find the funding for it.

The political horse trading will take place through June 15, the legislature's budget approval deadline.

Related Links


California State PTA:

State budget ‘May Revise’ upholds Prop 98 guarantee with increase in school funding

Gov. Jerry Brown released his proposed state budget “May Revision” today, which includes a $6.1 billion increase for schools to uphold the Proposition 98 guarantee. This continues a positive trend following many years of damaging cuts to our students.

“With California students and schools hit hardest by the Great Recession, California State PTA is very encouraged by this budget with the understanding there is still more work to be done to adequately fund our schools to the level all children need and deserve,” said California State PTA President Colleen A.R. You.

The “May Revise” also includes other changes to K-12 and higher education, as well as a proposed tax credit for families below the poverty line. In the coming weeks, we’ll be analyzing the details of the “May Revision” and will keep you updated.

Learn more:

Billions in extra education funds brings praise from around state

Posted on LA School Report  by Craig Clough |

Gov. Jerry Brown reveals his revised budget

Gov. Jerry Brown reveals his revised budget

May 14, 2015 3:11 pm   ::  Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget, which directs billions more toward schools over the next few years, has brought smiles to the faces of educational leaders around the state.

The overall amount includes an additional $3.1 billion for the current academic year and $2.7 billion extra for next year and could mean as much as $400 million for LA United this school year, according to the district.

Applause and cheers has been rolling in, but as the district said, “Half of these funds are ongoing and half are one-time only. This money has already been allocated for programs and personnel. The additional state funds resolve the deficit for the next school year.  However, even with the new revenue assumptions, the District continues to face deficits in the following years.”

Here are some statements from local and state leaders:

  • LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines: “The governor’s commitments to education and career preparation are strategic investments in California’s future. Today’s announcement of increased financial support for schools will help improve the lives of students in the Los Angeles area. We will prioritize these new resources to make our students college and career-ready.”
  • LAUSD board member Bennett Kayser: “More is better. The State never should have treated public education like a piggy-bank to be raided when times got tough. We have set high standards for our students and our staff at LAUSD but 49th in the nation in per-pupil-funding does not provide us with the means to achieve those goals. We must continue the fight in California to raise the level of investment in our children through public education.”
  • LAUSD board member Mónica García: “Welcome news from Gov. Brown!  Our communities seek greater investment from the state and encourage the Legislators to join Gov Brown in beginning the road for accelerated ongoing investments in our learning environments.”
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson: “Governor Brown’s May Revision continues the great progress we have been making to better fund California’s public schools and better prepare students for careers and college in the 21st century. I applaud the Governor for his leadership on education.”
  • Education Trust West: “We thank Governor Brown for increasing the investment in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and applaud his overall commitment to increased education funding in his proposed 2015-16 state budget. The additional LCFF funding is critical to meeting the needs of California’s neediest students by fully implementing the new funding formula that Governor Brown championed. However, we are disappointed by the Governor’s decision on funding for the implementation of new state standards. The May Revision proposes one allocation of funds that school districts could use for two purposes: either implementation of new standards, or payment for previous unreimbursed mandates.”
  • California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt: “More than $6 billion in revenues beyond projections present an opportunity to build on the progress we have made in public education since the passage of Prop 30,” said , “and the Governor makes a good start with the May Revision. However, 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. Whatever basic stability we have achieved is due to Prop 30, and that needs to be recognized by making its revenues permanent and seeking fair, new sources to fund California’s future.”
  • Students Matter: “At Students Matter, we agree that schools need more resources and praise the Governor for his leadership on this important topic. In fact, our lawsuit, Vergara v. California, is based in part on the case law established by the Serrano cases, which addressed the state’s public education financing system and established precedent recognizing that California’s students have a fundamental right to equal educational opportunity under the law. But we also know that funding alone won’t address the multifaceted challenges faced by our students. We must also solve for the systemic educational quality issues that are propagated and reinforced by California’s current Education Code.”
  • CTA President Dean E. Vogel: “The governor’s revised state budget plan keeps the promise to California’s students and the promise of Proposition 30 as approved by voters. His continued commitment and repayment of the debt owed to California’s students, schools and colleges keeps us on the road to recovery. After years of more than $20 billion in devastating budget cuts and thousands of educator layoffs, that recovery is still in the beginning stages. Critical student programs are beginning to be restored, but our class sizes remain the largest in the country, we rank 46th in per-student funding, and dead last in the number of school counselors and librarians. The May revised budget, which includes the repayment of all school deferrals is another important step in the right direction.”

from Rough+Tumble |

5/15: California Policy & Politics This Morning

Health and social service advocates cry foul over Brown's revised budget -- Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget doesn't do enough to restore earlier cuts to Medi-Cal, services for people with developmental disabilities, and In-Home Supportive services for the elderly and disabled, advocates say. Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times$ Katie Orr Capital Public Radio -- 5/15/15

Jerry Brown’s new budget plan freezes UC tuition, offers new tax credit for poor -- Gov. Jerry Brown presented a revised $115.3 billion general fund spending plan Wednesday that includes hundreds of millions in additional money for the University of California in return for a tuition freeze on in-state students. David Siders and Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee$ Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ Nanette Asimov and Melody Gutierrez in the San Francisco Chronicle Jessica Calefati and Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury$ Ben Adler Capital Public Radio Judy Lin Associated Press Chris Nichols and Maureen Magee UT San Diego$ Allen Young Sacramento Business Journal -- 5/15/15

In-state tuition won't rise for most undergrads for 2 years -- California residents would not pay more as University of California undergraduates for at least the next two years under an agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano. Lisa Leff Associated Press -- 5/15/15

Amnesty for traffic fines, court fees in Brown’s budget -- Gov. Jerry Brown, who got nailed for parking in a yellow zone, is pushing an amnesty program for millions of California drivers caught in what he called a “hellhole of desperation” from spiraling legal fines and fees. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 5/15/15

What Jerry Brown’s budget plan means for state workers -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised 2015-16 budget unveiled Thursday continues to press for changes for current and future state employees – cuts to the state’s medical costs and sweeping changes to the civil service system. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/15/15

Not enough money for highway repairs, Brown's budget acknowledges -- There simply isn't enough money to adequately maintain California's crumbling highways and bridges, Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget proposal acknowledges. Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 5/15/15

Mindful of Prop. 47 sentence reductions, Brown aims to scale back private prisons -- Gov. Jerry Brown proposes to cut California's reliance on out-of-state private prisons by half, but seeks to postpone longterm discussion about the state's own aging lockups and need to rent space from others until next year. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/15/15

Walters: Governor’s prudence well-placed -- The state’s revenue system is, as we should all know by now, increasingly dependent on taxes from a relative handful of high-income Californians. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 5/15/15

Myers: Revised California Budget Reinforces Brown’s Manifesto of Moderation -- It was an animated Gov. Jerry Brown, fielding yet another question about Democrats wanting additional boosts to state spending, who uttered a sentence that pretty much sums up his entire approach to governing. John Myers KQED -- 5/15/15


CCSA Statement on Governor Brown's May Revise of the 2015-16 State Budget

May 14, 2015  ::  Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), issued the following statement today following the release of Governor Jerry Brown's May Revise:

We applaud Governor Jerry Brown's leadership, recognition and continued support of public education as a top priority in today's May Revise of the state budget. The Governor's proposal to increase funding for K-12 schools by more than $3,000 per student since 2011-12 will ensure the continued and future academic success of California students.

California's 1,184 charter public schools, which serve more than 547,000 students across the state, will also benefit from the over $6 billion increase for education funding, including $53.1 billion in funding for the Local Control Funding Formula in the coming year.

CCSA is grateful to the Governor for including $50 million to support charter school facility needs, and we will also continue to work with the Governor and the California State Legislature to seek additional funding equity for charters as the budget process continues to move forward.

We urge the Legislature to approve the Governor's budget proposals to ensure that all of the state's public schools can utilize these funds for the ongoing development of long-term educational solutions that serve all of our students.

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