2016-17 State budget good for schools, but…

Martha Zaragoza-DíazLegislative Update

by Martha Zaragoza-Díaz, CABE Lobbyist

On June 27, 2016 Governor Brown signed a $122 billion dollars state budget without a single budget item veto! The last time a governor did not veto any budget items was in 1982-83. The approved 2016-17 state budget provides $71.9 billion dollars to public schools and community colleges, which is the highest amount sent to schools under the Prop 98 minimum guarantee. Spending per student in public schools is $10,643, an increase of $3,600 since 2011-12.

The 2016-17 state budget also provides an increase:

  • of more than $2.9 billion Prop 98 for the Local Control Funding Formula. This increase will bring the formula to 96 percent of full implementation.
  • of $200 million one‑time Proposition 98 General Fund for grants to school districts and charter schools serving high school students to provide additional services that support access and successful transition to higher education (the College Readiness Block Grant). These funds can be spent over the next three years. Allocation of the funding will be based on the number of students in grades 9 through 12 that are English‑learners, low‑income, or foster youth, with no school district or charter school receiving less than $75,000. The University of California will work to increase admissions of students who were enrolled in schools, in which enrollment of English learners, low‑income students, or foster youth is greater than 75 percent of total enrollment.
  • A combined increase of $35 million one‑time General Fund ($10 million non‑Proposition 98 and $25 million Proposition 98) to fund several programs aimed at recruiting additional teachers and streamlining teacher preparation programs. (Specifics will be provided in a forthcoming future blog).
  • An increase of $7.8 million Proposition 98 to provide access to full‑day State Preschool for an additional 2,959 children from low‑income working families, starting March 1, 2017. Over a period of four years, a total of 8,877 new full‑day State Preschool slots will be added at a total cost of $100 million Proposition 98
  • The governor’s proposal to establish a child care/early learning block grant was rejected by the legislature and not included in the budget proposal forwarded to the governor.

While public schools are benefiting from increased funding, there are those that predict California may soon be faced with another economic recession and increased funding for schools will be in jeopardy again, hence the proposal to extend Prop 30 via a ballot initiative; the California’s Children Education and Health Care Protection Act. This initiative has qualified for the November 2016 ballot and will continue taxing the “wealthy”.

Stay tuned to the CABE Corner blog for more information on this and other initiatives that have qualified for the November 2016 ballot.