State budget includes sweeping funding reform
“While there may be an agreement, implementation is dependent on the budget bill language,” said ACSA Legislative Advocate Adonai Mack. “Until we see this, it is challenging to have a definitive opinion.”
In addition to a budget bill that has a Constitutional deadline of June 15, there will be one or more “trailer bills” on education matters that will be followed closely.
Details included in the budget agreement include:
The Concentration Grant for each low-income and English learner student in the May Revision was 35 percent for each disadvantaged student above a 50 percent threshold.
In addition to fiscal issues, accountability provisions will have three basic components:
Schools have had a strong voice in the transformation of California schools to 21st century learning, the transition to Common Core State Standards and the implementation of a statewide accountability system to improve student outcomes.
State budget and new funding formula for schools
We support this new funding formula because it emphasizes local decision-making and it allows for greater collaboration among school leaders, board members, teachers, parents and community members in support of students.
Targeted resources, especially for low-income students and those with limited English proficiency, will enhance our efforts to close the achievement gap, promote literacy, and increase academic success in all of our classrooms.
ACSA has been a strong voice for increased funding as well as for reform of California’s inefficient school finance system. The shift from categorized funding and state-mandated program design and delivery to a new funding system focused on collaboration and local decision-making for students is long overdue.
This new funding formula has an eight-year implementation plan, and ACSA intends to be vigilant in our work to ensure that all students and all schools benefit throughout each phase of the plan.
ACSA strongly advocated that funding for all school districts be restored to pre-recession levels, the highest funding levels for schools in recent years. Restoring these funds to base budgets is critical, but much work remains to put schools back on the path of providing quality educational services to all students.
ACSA has been a leader in the transformation of our schools to 21st century learning, the transition to Common Core standards and the implementation of a statewide accountability system to improve student outcomes. Strong advocacy by ACSA and its members resulted in a one-time influx of $1.25 billion in 2013-14 specifically to support educators and students in the transition to Common Core.
While increased funding and a new funding formula are good news, ACSA will continue to work to ensure adequacy in education funding. The educational needs of California’s diverse student population are so great that they far outweigh the new levels of funding the state will invest over the next eight years. Our ongoing goal is help create a stable and sufficient funding system that enables all of our students to meet California’s high standards.