Controller Reports February State Revenues Short of Budget Forecasts

March 23, 2019

California’s total revenues of $5.51 billion in February were lower than forecasted in the governor’s proposed 2019-20 fiscal year budget by $1.34 billion, or 19.5 percent, and in the FY 2018-19 Budget Act by $2.01 billion, or 26.7 percent, State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on March 11.

Two-thirds of the way through FY 2018-19, total revenues of $79.93 billion were lower than expected in the proposed and enacted budgets by $4.20 billion and $3.33 billion, respectively. For the fiscal year to date, state revenues are 1.4 percent lower than the same time last year...

read more

Trump’s Education Budget Ignores Needs of Students and Schools

By Neil Campbell and Lisette Partelow - March 23, 2019

When it comes to federal education policy, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration have no new ideas. Much like the Department of Education’s proposed budgets for fiscal year 2018 and 2019, the FY 2020 budget asks for students and teachers to pay for the administration’s misguided policy aims in the form of cuts to education programs. Though DeVos’ education agenda has never been popular, this year’s budget proposal is particularly tone deaf to the needs of students and schools. The Trump administration has been fiscally irresponsible to the extreme, granting enormous tax cuts to wealthy corporations at taxpayers’ expense and letting a costly partial government shutdown drag on. And yet, every year when the budget is released, programs that help students and families seem to come last on its list of priorities, receiving huge cuts or being targeted for elimination...

read more

LAO Analyses Impact of Governor’s Budget on Prop. 98 Funding

February 24, 2019

(Editor’s note: On February 13, the Legislative Analyst’s Office released a lengthy report analyzing the impact of Governor Newsom’s January budget proposal on Prop. 98 funding for K-12 education. Below, we are reprinting the report’s Executive Summary and Summary of Recommendations, along with a link to the LAO’s full report.)

Executive Summary

In this report, we assess the architecture of the Governor’s overall Proposition 98 budget and analyze his specific proposals for K-12 education...

read more

Controller: State Revenues Opened 2019 Mostly Below Projections

February 24, 2019

State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on February 10 that California’s total revenues of $18.79 billion in January were lower than estimates in the governor’s 2019-20 fiscal year budget proposal by $1.81 billion, or 8.8 percent, but higher than projections in the FY 2018-19 Budget Act by $1.21 billion, or 6.9 percent.

Total revenues of $74.42 billion for the first seven months of FY 2018-19 were lower than expected in the proposed and enacted budgets by $2.87 billion and $1.32 billion, respectively. In the fiscal year to date, state revenues are just 0.2 percent lower than the same time last year.

read more

Thurmond Announces Applications for Summer Meal Programs

February 9, 2019

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced on January 31 that applications are available for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children eighteen and younger when school is out of session.

“Food insecurity impacts families throughout the state. When schools are out of session, our most economically disadvantaged students are not only missing academic instruction, they are also missing meals,” said Thurmond. “Access to nutritious and healthy food during the summer months helps students return to school ready to engage and ready to learn.”...

read more

LAO Releases Overview of the Gov’s Prop. 98 Budget Package

January 26, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Package Generally Reasonable Starting Point but Poses Some Risk. Though we think the administration’s estimates of the K-14 funding guarantee are reasonable given the data available at the time they were prepared, subsequent economic developments (largely relating to stock prices) suggest the estimates might be revised downward somewhat in the coming months. A drop in the funding guarantee in 2018-19 or 2019-20 could necessitate various adjustments to the Governor’s proposed $2.9 billion K-14 spending package. Under the January budget, the Governor prioritizes new spending primarily for the Local Control Funding Formula, community college apportionments, and special education. We think these spending priorities generally are reasonable, particularly as they largely build upon recent state reform efforts. The proposed augmentations, however, are vulnerable to potential downward adjustments in May. Schools and community colleges also face additional risk relative to recent state budgets, as the Governor’s budget contains almost no one-time 2019-20 spending, meaning ongoing K-14 programs have no corresponding protection were the guarantee to decline in 2020-21. The Governor also proposes undoing a budget agreement enacted last year relating to Proposition 98 true-ups, with the effect of benefiting schools but making balancing the rest of the state budget even more difficult during downturns...

read more

State Revenues Come Up Short of Expectations in December

January 12, 2019

On January 10 -- the day Governor Gavin Newsom proposed his first budget -- State Controller Betty T. Yee reported California’s revenues in December fell short of assumptions in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget by $4.82 billion. For the fiscal year, revenues of $55.63 billion are 4.4 percent ($2.54 billion) less than projected in the budget, which was enacted at the end of June.

“With our economy continuing to hover on the brink of a downturn, I applaud Governor Newsom’s budget planning with an eye towards building a strong foundation of long-term cost savings and fiscal discipline...

read more

Reaction to Governor’s Budget Proposal Largely Positive

January 12, 2019

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20.

“Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said...

read more

Gov. Newsom Proposes 2019-20 “California For All” State Budget

(Editor’s Note: the Governor’s Press Office issued the following press release regarding Gov. Newsom’s first budget proposal) - January 12, 2019

Governor Gavin Newsom submitted his 2019-20 "California for All" budget proposal to the Legislature on January 10 - a fiscal blueprint that builds a strong financial foundation by investing an unprecedented $13.6 billion in budget resiliency and paying down unfunded pension liabilities.

“During my inaugural speech, I described the California Dream as a house we are building together,” said Governor Newsom. “That wasn't just a speech device - it’s exactly what we are proposing today. To make the California Dream available to all, our state must be fiscally sound...

read more

LAO Analyzes Recent Changes to State Support for Fiscally Distressed School Districts

(Editor’s Note: The following article was posted by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office on December 20, 2018) - January 12, 2019

Summary

In 1991, State Created Formal Process for Supporting School Districts in Fiscal Distress. This system provides escalating tiers of support and intervention to districts based on their fiscal health. All districts are subject to ongoing fiscal oversight from their county office of education (COE). Districts exhibiting signs of fiscal distress receive special COE assistance. Districts facing exceptional fiscal distress and unable to pay their bills can request an emergency state loan in exchange for temporarily ceding control to an outside administrator. Prior to 2018, these administrators were appointed and overseen by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction...

read more

Controller Betty Yee Reports State Revenues Top Estimates in November

December 15, 2018

State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on December 10 that the State of California received $9.69 billion in revenue in November, exceeding projections in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget by 15.1 percent, or $1.27 billion.

Personal income tax (PIT), sales tax, and corporation tax -- the state’s “big three” revenue sources -- all were higher than expected in the enacted budget...

read more

Torlakson Assures Schools Closed Due to Hazardous Air Quality that State Funding Will Continue

November 30, 2018

On November 16, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reminded educators who close schools because of dangerous air quality that they can apply for a waiver to ensure they do not lose funding because of a drop in attendance. He also pledged that they would be assisted by administrators from the California Department of Education.

State law allows schools to continue to receive state funds from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) if they have to close because of a natural disaster such as floods, fires, earthquakes or other extraordinary conditions, such as hazardous air quality...

read more

School Parcel Tax Measures, Facilities Bonds Generally Fare Well in November Election

November 15, 2018

California voters didn’t always say “yes” to school parcel tax measures and school facilities bonds in the November 6th election. But a majority of these measures were approved by local voters in school districts around the state.

Local voters approved 87 school facilities bond measures proposed by districts around the state, while another 18 school facilities bond measures came up short of the required 55 percent majority for approval...

read more

Controller: State Revenue Missed Projections for October

November 15, 2018

California State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on November 9 that the state received $6.57 billion in revenue in October, falling short of assumptions in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget by 5.9 percent, or $412.2 million.

This month, sales tax was the only major revenue source to come in higher than projected in the enacted budget. Personal income tax (PIT) and corporation tax -- the two other revenue sources in the “big three” -- were lower than assumed in the enacted budget...

read more

CDE Announces Funding Relief for Schools Closed by Wildfires

November 15, 2018

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on November 9 that assistance is available for any schools forced to close as a result of raging wildfires in Butte, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties. Hundreds of schools statewide have been impacted by the recent wildfires.

“These fires have been tragic and devastating. Lives have been lost, homes destroyed, and communities devastated. I extend my deepest sympathies for the families, firefighters, first responders, communities, students, teachers, and school districts that have been affected.” Torlakson said. “Safety is the absolute top priority for students and their families, and I thank school officials for acting quickly to close any school sites due to evacuations or hazardous air quality...

read more

LAO Forecasts Modest Growth for Prop. 98 School Funding in Upcoming Budget Year

November 15, 2018

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) issued a forecast on November 14 for school funding under Proposition 98 in the upcoming 2019-2020 state budget, which will be the first state budget under recently-elected Gov. Gavin Newsom.

According to the LAO’s Office:

Modest Growth Projected for School and Community College Funding in the Upcoming Budget Year. Each year, the state calculates a “minimum guarantee” for school and community college funding based upon a set of formulas established by Proposition 98 (1988). Under our near‑term outlook, the 2019‑20 minimum guarantee is up $2.4 billion (3.1 percent) over our revised estimate of 2018‑19 funding. After accounting for this increase and backing out various one‑time initiatives funded in the prior year, among other adjustments, we estimate the Legislature would have an additional $2.8 billion for Proposition 98 programs in 2019‑20...

read more

Controller: State Revenue Outpacing Expectations for Fiscal Year

October 20, 2018

On October 11, California State Controller Betty T. Yee reported the state received $12.10 billion in revenue in September, exceeding projections in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget by 5.1 percent, or $582.4 million.

This month, all of the “big three” revenue sources - personal income tax (PIT), corporation tax, and sales tax - came in higher than assumed in the enacted budget...

read more

When Going to Voters for Funding, School Districts Can Educate... But Not Advocate

October 20, 2018

Generally, the governing board of a school district is empowered to provide voters relevant facts and to aid them in reaching an informed decision when voting on a political issue. A school district may not expend funds or resources to promote for one side or the other on a political position.

However, the line between education and advocacy is often murky, and often the questions that arise are highly fact specific. This guide will help district employees to properly navigate political campaign issues safely and effectively...

read more

Study Examines Costs of Dual Language Immersion Programs

October 3, 2018
By Ingrid T. Colón

Dual language immersion (DLI) programs-where students are given academic instruction in two languages-are becoming increasingly popular due to the economic, cognitive, and academic benefits bilingualism may confer on students.

Because DLI programs offer specialized instruction, it’s often assumed that they cost more to implement than monolingual programs. For example, they need qualified bilingual teachers who understand the different program models as well as teacher professional development. They also need curricula and instructional tools in languages other than English. Moreover, logistical costs in DLI programs need to be considered, including the process of enrollment in DLI programs, which requires the management of slots and transportation for students in these programs. While many studies have examined the academic impact of DLI programs, there is scant research on the costs of these programs...

read more

Controller Reports State Revenues Surpass Projections for August

September 20, 2018

For the month of August, California took in more revenue than estimated in the budget enacted at the end of June, State Controller Betty T. Yee reported on September 10.

Total revenues of $9.98 billion for August were higher than anticipated in the budget by $1.14 billion, or 12.9 percent. For the first two months of the 2018-19 fiscal year, revenues are $846.0 million, or 5.4 percent, higher than projected in the enacted budget...

read more

CSBA Lawsuit Alleges State Manipulation of School Funding Guarantee

August 22, 2018

On Friday, August 10, the California School Boards Association filed a lawsuit in the Sacramento County Superior Court challenging provisions of the 2018-19 state budget that allow the state to manipulate the constitutional formula which determines the amount of funding California’s public schools receive. If the unconstitutional provisions are allowed to stand, they could eventually reduce public school revenue by three-quarters of a billion dollars annually.

The lawsuit specifically challenges one provision of Assembly Bill 1825, a 2018-19 budget trailer bill that changes how the Proposition 98 minimum education funding guarantee is calculated. AB 1825 would allow the state to provide K-14 schools with less money than they should legally and rightfully receive...

read more