2018-19 State Budget Invests in Reserves – California Budget & Policy Center

Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown signed more than 20 bills in the 2018-19 state budget package, his final budget as Governor. The new budget package forecasts revenues that are $8.0 billion higher — over a three-year window — than projected in January, due to strong economic growth.

The budget agreement prioritizes building up state reserves. As required by Proposition 2 (2014), $3.5 billion is set aside, with half going to the state’s rainy day fund and half to pay down debts. An optional $2.6 billion is deposited into a new, temporary reserve; $2 billion is placed in a discretionary reserve; and a new $200 million “safety net reserve” is created to help support CalWORKs and Medi-Cal services in an economic downturn. State reserves are expected to total almost $16.0 billion by the end of 2018-19.

Source: 2018-19 State Budget Invests in Reserves and an Array of Vital Services, Sets Course for Future Advances – California Budget & Policy Center

New $37M budget, district response to immigration on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The 2018-19 annual budget, with its accompanying LCAP, a review of the school district’s policy and administrative regulation about responses to immigration enforcement, and an update on the naming ceremony for the Dixon Community Performing Arts Center at Dixon High are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.

Melissa Mercado, the district’s chief business official, will present the budget, which must be submitted to the Solano County Office of Education for approval on or before June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Source: New $37M budget, district response to immigration enforcement on Dixon Unified School District agenda

Vallejo trustees expected to approve budget – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Despite already trimming $8 million from its budget, the Vallejo City Unified School District needs to cut an additional $13.2 million by June 2021 or it faces insolvency.

The district’s Chief Business Officer Hitesh Haria will present a resolution during Wednesday night’s school board meeting declaring the district’s need to slash $6.6 million from the district’s 2019-20 and 2020-21 budgets, respectively.

Haria will return with a list of proposed cuts when he presents the first interim report for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget in December.

While the district states that discovery of revenue enhancements can help to ease the budget situation, that appears unlikely.

The board will be asked to approve the district’s 2018-19 budget which shows the district continues to lose students, while also facing rising retirement costs.

Source: Vallejo trustees expected to approve budget

School board OKs 18-19 budget – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District approved the budget for the 2018-19 school year at the final school board meeting of the 2017-18 year on Wednesday.

Chief Business Official Tim Rahill noted there were no changes to the budget from the May 31 meeting when a public hearing was held. Rahill said the district would be operating at a small one-time surplus of $88,000, which includes the costs of employee negotiations from the tentative agreements with the classified employees union and confidential/management group, which were unanimously ratified at Wednesday’s meeting.

Trustee Peter Morgan asked if costs associated with the Benicia Teachers Association were included in the budget, considering negotiations were ongoing and the tentative agreement was voted down. Rahill said he contacted both auditors and school services.

Source: School board OKs 18-19 budget

Vallejo school board gets first look at upcoming budget – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board’s annual tradition of receiving sobering budget numbers continued recently as trustees received news about the district’s need to trim $13 million from future fiscal year budgets.

Trustees held a public hearing during the June 6 board meeting on the proposed 2018-19 budget and following two fiscal years.

While the Vallejo City Unified School District is projecting a $226,754 general fund surplus for the new school year, the small cushion evaporates during fiscal years 2019-20, and 2020-21.

Source: Vallejo school board gets first look at upcoming budget

Vallejo school board to hold hearing on budget – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Fiscal uncertainty continues for the Vallejo City Unified School District.

The Vallejo school board will hold a public hearing Wednesday night on its tentative 2018-19 fiscal year budget and the news isn’t good.

According to the budget’s executive summary, during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, the district is projecting that it will be able to meet its current fiscal obligations.

However, the district may not be able to pay its bills in years 2019-20, and 20-21.

“During 2019-20, the district estimates that the General Fund is projected to deficit spend by $8.2 million resulting in an unrestricted ending General Fund balance of approximately $3.5 million — $1.3 million short of making the state required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainty,” according to the same summary. “During 2020-21, the district estimates that the General Fund is projected to deficit spend by $11 million resulting in an unrestricted ending General Fund balance of -$7.5 million (about) $12.4 million short of making the state required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainty and $13.1 million short of making the District Board reserve of 3.5 percent.”

Source: Vallejo school board to hold hearing on budget

Teachers union votes down tentative agreement with district – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Benicia Teachers Association voted to reject the tentative agreement Wednesday that had been reached with the Benicia Unified School District, Governing Board President Diane Ferrucci announced as Thursday’s school board meeting.

In January, BUSD had proposed a one-time bonus of 1 percent off the salary schedule for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. BTA countered with a 5 percent increase for 2017-18 and a 4.25 percent increase for 2018-19 school year. After being unable to reach an agreement, BTA requested to file for impasse. Teachers, students and parents voiced their disapproval at subsequent school board meetings, with some educators even providing lists of free services they would no longer offer to students outside of their contract hours unless an agreement was reached.

On May 17, a fact-finding hearing was held in which both parties presented their case to a neutral three-person panel so that a contract agreement could be reached. The meeting spilled over into the early morning hours of May 18 when a tentative agreement was reached. However, when the time came for the BTA to vote to accept the agreement on Wednesday, it was voted down.

Source: Teachers union votes down tentative agreement with district

One-time surplus of $88K anticipated in 18-19 school year – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Budget numbers for the Benicia Unified School District are expected to fluctuate over the next few years, but Chief Business Official Tim Rahill is optimistic about next year when the district is projected to have a one-time $88,000 surplus. The latest budget update was provided in a public hearing at Thursday’s school board meeting.

Rahill said revenues are budgeted at $46.6 million, which has mostly come from funding through the state, Local Control Funding Formula and U.S. Department of Education title programs. Meanwhile, expenditures are projected at $46.5 million, which included certificated and classified salaries, employee benefits, supplies and capital outlay. Rahill said the tentative agreement with the Benicia Teachers Association were included in the figures, but the agreement was voted down Wednesday so it may be removed from the expenditures when the budget is brought back to the board for a vote.

Source: BUSD CBO: One-time surplus of $88K anticipated in 18-19 school year

Will This Year’s Budget Provide Funding to Address the State’s Bilingual Teacher Shortage? – California Budget & Policy Center

By Jonathan Kaplan

When it comes to addressing the state’s shortage of bilingual teachers, there’s good news and bad news. First, the bad news: The shortage is serious. According to a survey conducted last year by Californians Together, a majority of California K-12 school districts (53%) reported having a shortage of bilingual teachers, and nearly 1 in 4 of all districts (23%) characterized it as a major shortage. In the aftermath of Proposition 58, a ballot measure approved in 2016 that removed longstanding restrictions on bilingual education, a majority of K-12 districts (58%) planned to expand their bilingual programs. However, a large share of these districts (86%) said that their current supply of bilingual teachers is insufficient to staff an expansion of their bilingual education programs.

The good news is that there are opportunities to make progress in addressing this shortage in the near term. California schools already employ thousands of teachers who have bilingual teaching certifications but who work in English-only classrooms. Last year’s budget package provided $5 million to create the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program, a competitive grant program that provides training and support for teachers already authorized to teach English learners, but who have taught in English-only classrooms for at least three years. The program also is designed to help train bilingual paraprofessionals who want to become bilingual teachers.

Source: Will This Year’s Budget Provide Funding to Address the State’s Bilingual Teacher Shortage? – California Budget & Policy Center

BUSD budget among items on packed school board agenda – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Thursday’s school board meeting will be the last of the 2017-18 year while school is in session— and if the agenda is any indication, it will be the busiest of the entire year by far.

One of the biggest items is a public hearing on Benicia Unified School District’s proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year. Chief Business Official Tim Rahill predicts that the district will operate at a one-time surplus of $88,000— including costs of employee negotiations from the employees’ tentative agreements from 2017-18 and 2018-19— and provide for the state’s 3 percent Reserve for Economic Uncertainties and the Local Board Policy Reserve— which would provide an additional 4 percent reserve.

Additionally, Rahill wrote in a PowerPoint that BUSD continues to receive most of its fundings from the state, namely its Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) system. According to Rahill, the LCFF is fully funded in the budget and includes a funding reduction for 71 fewer students, annual increases in operating costs and program costs from the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The district is also anticipating a decline in 24 students for the 2018-19 school year.

Source: BUSD budget among items on packed school board agenda

Child Care and Development Programs and the 2018-19 May Revision – CA Budget

Putting the Governor’s 2018-19 May Revision in Context

Several key considerations provide the backdrop:

•State revenues for the coming fiscal year are projected to be higher than previously forecast.

•Economic hardship – overall poverty as well as child poverty – remains very high in most parts of the state, even several years after the end of the Great Recession.

•Various key public services and supports continue to operate at diminished levels due to state cuts made during and after the recession

Source: Microsoft PowerPoint – CAPPA May Revise Handout

$1.6M in Measure A, Prop. 39 contracts on VUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, are expected to approve several large Measure A and Proposition 39 contracts totaling more than $1.6 million, plus pass a resolution calling for “full and fair funding of California’s public schools.”

The seven-member governing board will OK, in order, three Measure A contracts, including 1) a $272,000 agreement with Johnson Mechanical to replace the heating, ventilation and air condition systems in the Wood High administration building; 2) a $65,000 contract with American Asphalt & Resurfacing Co. for the seal coating projects at Vacaville High and Jepson Middle School; and 3) a $629,000 agreement with Sunterra Solar Inc. for solar panels atop the newly built E and M buildings at the West Monte Vista Avenue campus.

Source: $1.6M in Measure A, Prop. 39 contracts on VUSD agenda

What Reaching LCFF Full Implementation Means and Why It Matters – California Budget & Policy Center

By Jonathan KaplanThe proposed state budget that Governor Brown released in January calls for a significant increase in support ($2.9 billion) to fully implement California’s main system for funding K-12 education, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), in 2018-19. Reaching this milestone would be a notable accomplishment, especially as it would come two years earlier than initially estimated when the Legislature enacted the LCFF in 2013. Achieving this LCFF funding goal was never intended to mean that an adequate level of financial support needed to deliver a quality education for California’s K-12 students had been provided. However, reaching LCFF full implementation does reflect nearly $20 billion of increased funding for the state’s K-12 schools over the past six years.

Moreover, because the LCFF allocates additional funds to school districts based on their number of disadvantaged students — English learners, foster youth, and students from low-income families — increasing funding for the LCFF means more dollars are being provided to improve educational equity. Advancing equity may also be the goal of recent calls — from some state policymakers and others — to boost LCFF funding further, but exactly how such a boost is provided could unintentionally undermine this goal. To understand why, it is necessary to take a closer look at how the LCFF works and what full implementation really means.

Source: What Reaching LCFF Full Implementation Means and Why It Matters – California Budget & Policy Center

Business pilot program up for discussion by SCC board – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Several updates — on the 2017-18 budget, a business program pilot and the Solano County Sheriff’s Department — are on the agenda when Solano Community College leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Robert V. Diamond, vice president of finance and administration, will update the governing board about the status of the Solano Community College District budget.

However, the agenda neither included any supporting documents about the 2017-18 budget nor any information about revenues, expenses and funding balances projected for the two outlying years. There was no explanation in the agenda documents.

Lucky Lofton, the school’s executive bonds manager, will update trustees about the Measure Q Small, Local, and Diverse Business Program, including the starting of a two-year pilot program. Its purpose is to establish equity, inclusion and outreach guidelines and promote diversity by offering contracts to small businesses and those owned by ethnic minorities, women and disabled veterans in Solano County and the city of Winters. (Measure Q was the $348 million bond passed by Solano County voters in 2012 to upgrade SCC campuses.)

Source: Business pilot program up for discussion by SCC board

School board OKs 2nd interim financial report – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The school board approved Benicia Unified School District’s second interim financial report at Thursday’s school board meeting.

According to Chief Business Official Tim Rahill, BUSD’s revenue for 2017-18 is at $44.4 million. Thirty-seven percent of the revenue comes from the Local Control Funding Formula, 6 percent comes from local and other funds, 5 percent comes from state funds and 2 percent comes from the federal government. Of the LCFF funds, 37 percent is covered by property taxes and 63 percent comes from the state budget.

Source: School board OKs 2nd interim financial report

Vacaville USD leaders OK interim budget report, Santopadre contract – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The Vacaville Unified annual budget for the current year has come into greater focus with the second interim report aired Thursday in the Educational Services Center.

Jennifer Stahlheber, the chief business officer, presented the budget report and multiyear projections during a governing board meeting.

By law, California school districts must submit two interim budget reports for the current fiscal year, usually by mid-December and mid-March, to let state Department of Education officials know that they can pay their bills.

Stahlheber told trustees that the projected budget for the current academic year is some $120 million for a district with 12,600 students, nearly $2 million more than the first interim budget report. Expenses will outpace revenues by $7 million, leading to deficit spending. The ending fund balance is projected to be $16.5 million, the beginning fund balance $23.6 million, with mandatory prudent reserves of $3.6 million for economic uncertainties.

Source: Vacaville Unified School District leaders OK interim budget report, Santopadre contract

Second draft of BUSD financial report up for review – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Tim Rahill, Benicia Unified School District’s chief business official, will be presenting the second interim financial report at Thursday’s school board meeting. The report shows, among other things, that BUSD is operating at a $1.9 million deficit.

At the Dec. 14 school board meeting, Rahill presented the first interim financial report which was approved by the board later that evening, although Trustee Peter Morgan voted against it and suggested the district take a serious look at the budget. After Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his final budget proposal in January, Rahill said BUSD would need to make $800,000 in continuing adjustments for the budget to become balanced.

The operating deficit of $1.9 million outlined in the second interim financial report is slightly higher than the $1.8 million figure in the first report. Rahill said the 2017-18 deficit includes one-time spending funds of $900,000 and a $1 million operating loss for general ongoing operations. It does not include costs for negotiations with the district employee groups.

Source: Second draft of BUSD financial report up for review

Solano County Office of Education leader to mull over interim budget – Times Herald

By Richard Bammer

Solano County Office of Education leaders likely will approve the 2017-18 second interim budget report when they meet tonight in Fairfield.

By law, California school districts must issue two annual budget reports for their current fiscal year, usually by mid-December and mid-March, to let state officials know that they can pay their bills.

In her overview, Becky Lentz, director of internal business services, will tell the seven-member governing board that Gov. Jerry Brown continues to predict a recession “but the timing is unknown.”

Additionally, cuts to federal programs are expected and so are changes to the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 during the Obama administration and intended to constrain healthcare costs. SCOE, which administers community and court schools and some special education programs, among others, is experiencing declining enrollment in its Alternative Education program, Lentz will add.

Source: Solano County Office of Education leader to mull over interim budget

Fairfield-Suisun USD leaders review budget, bargaining agreements – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The second interim 2017-18 budget report, and two public hearings about collective bargaining agreements with two employee unions for the 2018-19 academic year are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

California school districts twice yearly are required to certify their ability to pay their bills for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Interim budget reports are the way they do it, official documents due by mid-December and mid-March at the latest.

Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of business services, will tell the seven-member governing board that the district, the county’s largest with some 21,500 students across some 30 campuses, can meet its financial obligations this year.

She will note cost-of-living adjustments of 1.56 percent for the current year, 2.51 percent in 2018-19, and 2.41 percent in 2019-20.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District leaders review budget, bargaining agreements

Trump Seeks to Cut Education Budget by 5 Percent – Education Week

By Andrew Ujifusa

President Donald Trump is seeking a roughly 5 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education’s budget for fiscal 2019 in a proposal that also mirrors his spending plan from last year by seeking to eliminate a major teacher-focused grant and to expand school choice.

Trump’s proposed budget, released Monday, would provide the Education Department with $63.2 billion in discretionary aid, a $3.6 billion cut—or 5.3 percent— from current spending levels, for the budget year starting Oct. 1. That’s actually less of a cut than what the president sought for fiscal 2018, when he proposed slashing $9.2 billion—or 13.5 percent—from the department.

In order to achieve those proposed spending cuts, the president copied two major education cuts he proposed last year: the elimination of Title II teacher grants and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Those two cuts combined would come to about $3.1 billion from current levels. Overall, 39 discretionary programs would be cut, eliminated, or “streamlined.”

Source: Trump Seeks to Cut Education Budget by 5 Percent, Expand School Choice Push – Politics K-12 – Education Week