May Revision maintains investment to hit LCFF targets
In the May 11 release of his final budget revision, Gov. Jerry Brown upheld his January investment in the Local Control Funding Formula, increasing to approximately $3.3 billion the amount put into the formula to hit the initially set targets two years ahead of schedule.

The May Revision aligns with the Governor’s overall cautious approach and, consistent with recent budgets, generally shies away from adding ongoing spending. But the revised budget makes little progress toward the full and fair funding of public schools at a time when California is in the bottom 10 states nationally in per-pupil funding.

“The increase in the Proposition 98 guarantee is certainly welcome and will come as a relief to school districts and county offices of education as they grapple with rising transportation, utility, and health and welfare costs,” said CSBA President Mike Walsh. “Simply funding LCFF to targets set five years ago, however, is nowhere close to the full and fair funding needed to provide all California students with an education that prepares them for college, career and civic life.”

The budget revision adds $320 million to the approximately $3 billion LCFF investment proposed in January, with $166 million going toward base funding and the remainder covering a 2.71 percent cost-of-living adjustment (higher than the 2.51 percent COLA estimate assumed in January), getting LCFF to its targets — ahead of the 2020–21 projection.

CSBA is co-sponsoring Assembly Bill 2808 (Muratsuchi, D-Torrance), which would significantly increase the LCFF base grant targets moving forward in the effort to move California toward the national average of $12,526 per-pupil for K-12 education funding. Utilizing the Legislative Analyst’s Office fiscal projections, barring a recession, the new targets could be reached in 5–7 years, assuming that the only new investment in K-12 education is provided by the Proposition 98 guarantee.

The 2018–19 Proposition 98 guarantee comes in at $78.4 billion, up $68 million from the initial January proposal and up $3.9 billion over the enacted 2017–18 guarantee. The May Revision also bumps one-time money from $1.8 billion in January to $2.1 billion, invests $167 million into expansion of early education and sends $55 million to county offices of education to assist school districts and charter schools with Local Control and Accountability Plans.

  • Though LCFF hits target two years ahead of schedule, little progress is made toward the Full and Fair Funding of California public schools
The revision does not allocate funds to address the issue of rising pension costs, nor does it specify authorization of additional bond authority for school facilities construction and modernization from Proposition 51. In January, $640 million was proposed, and approximately $600 million of the $7 billion has been released thus far. CSBA continues to advocate for the expedited release of the full complement of Proposition 51 funds.

“As we seek to educate our students for the demands of an increasingly competitive, global and technological world, we are asking more of them than ever before,” Walsh said. “We have to ask as much from ourselves and give our schools the resources they need to meet the challenges of our modern age.”

After the California’s Senate and Assembly agree upon a final budget in June, Gov. Brown will have until July 1 to sign it.

Additional details about the budget are available at csba.org/legislativenews.