Rick Simpson didn’t write Proposition 98, the complex formula that determines how much money in the state budget goes to K-12 schools and community colleges each year. But for three decades after its inception in 1988, Simpson was an expert in its implementation as a senior adviser on education for eight Assembly Speakers. Now recently retired, he’s pitching a tax proposal that would liberate schools from Prop. 98’s constraints. He says the only realistic way for schools to raise significantly more revenue is to give districts more authority to tax themselves. It will take a constitutional amendment, which he hopes that either the Legislature or voters, through an initiative, will place on the 2020 ballot. At this point, though, it’s just talk. No leaders or groups have stepped forward to embrace it.
Before the budget change, a family of three that exceeded $3,518 in monthly income or $42,216 a year would no longer be eligible. This figure was calculated based on the current income limit for a family of three, which cannot exceed 70 percent of the 2005 state median income. The new state law still requires that a family’s income be 70 percent of the state median or less to be eligible for the subsidy. However, more families will be able to qualify, since the overall income limit will be higher when calculated using the most current state median income information. The new budget also states that families will be allowed “ongoing eligibility” as long as their income is not more than 85 percent of the state median income. This means families would not have to re-apply for services because of increases in income that didn’t exceed that level and more families will remain eligible.
California lags behind 40 other states in the amount it spends per child for a range of services including public education and healthcare, according to a new report.
But aside from education spending, where California has for years spent less than other states, the state spends more than most others on other child-related services and supports, such as health care, child care, tax credits and maternal support that benefits children.
Four years after its passage, the Local Control Funding Formula has narrowed and, by some measures, reversed the funding gap between the lowest- and highest-poverty districts in California. But an infusion of funding hasn’t translated yet into improved opportunities for low-income students and English learners – and may not achieve that goal without tighter disclosure rules and more innovative approaches to distributing districts’ resources, a student advocacy organization said in a report published Thursday.
California will issue school and district report cards later this month, but without a key measure – whether students are prepared for college or careers.
School districts, already bracing for record pension contributions for school employees, will face additional costs they hadn’t expected as a result of a decision Wednesday by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. . . Dennis Meyers, an assistant executive director of the California School Boards Association, estimated that the lower investment forecast would add $400 million to $600 million to school districts’ costs. Combined with already scheduled cost increases to CalPERS and CalSTRS, higher pension costs will consume every dollar of projected revenue increases for 150 to 200 school districts in coming years, he told the CalPERS board committee during a hearing
Voters in 184 K-12 and community college districts throughout California considered local school bonds worth more than $25 billion – and approved $23 billion of them.
The report by The Campaign for College Opportunity said California ranks near the bottom nationally in the rate of bachelor and associate degrees in those subjects at a time that it has far more STEM entry-level jobs than any other state.
After years of lagging behind Arkansas, West Virginia and several other states, California is expanding computer science in public schools across the state and training teachers to teach it.
Despite lowered state revenue projections and Gov. Jerry Brown’s prediction that an economic recession could come any moment, state funding for K-12 and community colleges will rise nearly $3 billion for the fiscal year starting July 1, under the May revision of the 2016-17 state budget released on Friday.
The state Constitution does not guarantee children in California a minimally funded quality education, a divided California Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday in a landmark decision closely watched by proponents of more K-12 spending.
The impact of the minimum wage rising from $8 in 2008 to $10 today is a lower-quality program, said Steven Amick, director of policy and partnerships for THINK Together, which provides after-school programming for 40,000 students each day at 40 different school districts. But the impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 a day is closure, he said. “The math just doesn’t work on that.”
Posing an ongoing challenge for California educators trying to tackle a critical teacher shortage area, the number of credentials issued to new math and science teachers in California continues to decline, according to new figures released Monday by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Brown called the proposal for a 12-year extension of Proposition 30, a temporary tax that expires in two years “fatally flawed” because it would prohibit diverting any of the money into the state’s rainy day fund for general state spending. Building up that reserve to cushion the impact of the next economic recession is one of Brown’s priorities, and Brown spent much of the press conference warning of the likelihood of another downturn. “If you don’t remember anything else, just remember, everything that goes up comes down,” Brown said. His proposed $122.6 billion general fund budget would add $2 billion to the rainy day fund, bringing the total to $8 billion.
A U.S. Department of Education report shows that California’s high school graduation ranking dropped from 30th in 2012-13 to 33rd in 2013-14, even though its graduation rate increased slightly.