by Martha Zaragoza-Díaz, CABE Lobbyist
Public schools throughout California are enjoying a rapid rise in state funding. As a result of California’s economic gains and temporary tax increase approved by the voters in 2012 (Proposition 30), Governor Brown proposed a $71.6 billion education budget as part of his 2016-17 State Budget. This proposed allocation is approximately a 50 percent increase since 2011. Spending per student has increased more than $3,800 to a projected $14,550 this year.
The Governor’s budget proposes an increase of approximately $2.8 billion to continue implementing of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). This proposed funding would eliminate about 50 percent of the remaining funding gap between the formula’s current year funding level and full implementation for school districts and charter schools. This results in the LCFF being 95 percent funded in 2016-17. County Offices of Education reached full implementation with the LCFF allocation in the 2014 Budget Act.
Other significant proposals in the state budget include $20 million in one-time Proposition 98 funds to provide start-up grants for new charter schools, $419 million in Proposition 39 energy funds for specified energy efficiency activities and $1.6 billion for the establishment of an Early Education Block Grant.
While this increased funding is welcomed by educators, California still ranked 41st in the nation per pupil spending in 2013. Additionally, with Proposition 30 ready to expire in 2018 it is critical that California continue its investment in education!