Vacaville school board inks $1M contract – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A charter school petition denial and approval of the 2017-18 budgets were the main stories that emerged last week from a Vacaville Unified governing board meeting, but some other pocketbook matters also crossed the trustees’ dais and were approved.

Trustees OK’d a so-called “piggyback co-op bid” with San Gabriel Valley Food Services to contract with Gold Star Foods, in an amount not to exceed $1 million. The contract applies to the distribution of frozen and refrigerated foods for the 2017-18 academic year, with an option to extend the bid for two more. Vacaville Unified currently gets some of its food through Gold Star, which has a large warehouse in Dixon.

Source: Vacaville school board inks $1M contract with food services firm for frozen, refrigerated foods

Top state ed official extols budget increases for K-12 schools – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson was all smiles when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the 2017–18 state budget. After all, it increases funding for K-12 public schools, after-school programs, early education and child care, and teacher recruitment and training.

“When we invest more in our students, we help them succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college,” he said in a press release issued late last month. “This budget continues the strong growth in what I call the ‘California Way,’ where legislators, the governor, education groups, the business community, and others are working closely together to keep improving our education system.”

The Legislature approved the budget June 15, the date required by the state Constitution. Brown’s signature on the state’s key funding document kicked off the new spending plan July 1.

California has the nation’s largest public school system with more than 6.2 million students at nearly 10,000 public schools.

 

Source: Top state ed official extols budget increases for K-12 schools

Vacaville school district leaders approve LCAP, $116M budget for 17-18 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Meeting a state-mandated deadline, Vacaville Unified leaders Thursday approved the school district’s 2017-18 budget and the accompanying Local Control Accountability Plan, with some minor changes to the plan as requested by Michael Kitzes, the governing board’s president.

In California, annual school district budgets and LCAPs, the latter a key part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula, must be submitted to respective county offices of education on or before June 30.

Although they detail spending for all student programs, LCAPs typically lay out in detail funding for programs that help English learners, foster youth and low-income students in efforts to close the “achievement gap,” the difference in standardized test scores between whites and ethnic minorities.

The district’s chief academic officer, Mark Frazier presented the changes to the 2017 LCAP, as requested by Kitzes at the June 15 meeting.

 

Source: Vacaville school district leaders approve LCAP, $116M budget for 17-18

Governor signs 2017-18 budget allocating more money to schools | EdSource

By Theresa Harrington

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the $183 billion state budget on Tuesday, after announcing he had reached an agreement on the details with legislative leaders earlier this month.

“California is taking decisive action by enacting a balanced state budget,” Brown said. “This budget provides money to repair our roads and bridges, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide Medi-Cal health care for millions of Californians.”

The 2017-18 budget allocates more money to K-12 schools and community colleges, expected to increase by $3.1 billion over the 2016-17 level to $74.5 billion. School districts’ share of the increase will include $1.4 million more for the Local Control Funding Formula, bringing its full implementation to 97 percent complete.

Source: Governor signs 2017-18 budget allocating more money to schools | EdSource

VUSD leaders expected to nix charter school petition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A possible denial of a charter school petition, several large contracts, from auditing services to crossing guards to food services, and formal approval of two Local Control Accountability Plans and the 2017-18 budget are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet Thursday.

According to agenda documents, the seven-member governing board will vote to deny or approve a petition to establish the Pacific Valley Charter Academy, currently called Heritage Peak Charter School, an independent study learning center housed at 354 Parker St.

There will be a staff presentation, a presentation by Paul Keefer, executive director of the school’s parent organization, the Sacramento-based Pacific Charter Institute, which operates several charter schools, followed by trustee questions and comments.

But the district already appears ready to deny Keefer’s petition, as a formally worded resolution to do so was included as part of the agenda.

 

Source: VUSD leaders expected to nix charter school petition

Trustees OK $220M Fairfield-Suisun school budget- Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A $220 million budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 won approval Thursday by Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees as officials forecast future budget cuts.

Superintendent Kris Corey said in her budget message that districts throughout California will receive less revenue from the state than forecast – and the proposed federal budget also reduces funding for schools.

“The decreased revenues along with the increased costs, particularly in employee benefits, will cause our district to make future budget reductions,” Corey wrote.

Source: Trustees OK $220M Fairfield-Suisun school budget

$220M budget goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A $220 million budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday with a message from Superintendent Kris Corey that districts throughout California will receive less revenue from the state than forecast – and the proposed federal budget also reduces funding for schools.

“The decreased revenues along with the increased costs, particularly in employee benefits, will cause our district to make future budget reductions,” Corey wrote.

Trustees in June 2016 approved a $209 million budget for the school district.

Source: $220M budget goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees

How the 2017-18 funding increase for California education will be spent | EdSource

By Justin Allen, Daniel J. Willis and John Fensterwald

The Legislature passed a $183 billion state budget for 2017-18 last week that includes a $3.2 billion increase in funding under Proposition 98, the formula that determines how much of the General Fund will go to K-12 school, community colleges and state-funded preschool programs. The additional $3.2 billion represents an increase of 4.4 percent over last year’s allocation, bringing Prop. 98 next year to $74.5 billion.

Source: How the 2017-18 funding increase for California education will be spent | EdSource

Revised Vacaville Unified grading system sets off lengthy debate at board meeting – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

On a night when Vacaville Unified leaders faced a full agenda — the 2017-18 budget and its accompanying LCAP and other LCAPs — the real showstopper was a report on revised district regulations about grading and ways to assess student achievement, a still-in-the-works system one trustee called “huge” in its impact.

At issue during Thursday’s meeting were revisions to administrative regulation 5121, changes to which have been the subject of board, district staff and classroom teacher discussion and debate for well more than a year.

Source: Revised Vacaville Unified grading system sets off lengthy debate at board meeting

Vacaville Unified school board trustees put final touches on 2017-18 budget – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders late last week put finishing touches on the final 2017-18 school district budget some Local Control Accountability Plans, which will be approved, perhaps with some minor changes, at the governing board’s June 29 meeting.

In California, annual school district budgets and their accompanying LCAPs, a key part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula, must be submitted to respective county offices of education on or before June 30.

Although they detail spending for all student programs, LCAPs typically lay out in detail funding for programs that help English learners, foster youth and low-income students in efforts to close the “achievement gap,” the difference in standardized test scores between whites and ethnic minorities.

Source: Vacaville Unified school board trustees put final touches on 2017-18 budget

Budget, suicide-prevention policy on Kairos agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy leaders, when they meet Monday in Vacaville, are expected to approve the 2017-18 annual budget and accompanying Local Control Accountability Plan, to meet a June 30 deadline mandated by the Solano County Office of Education.

The board of directors, led by Executive Director Jared Austin, also is expected to approve a board policy and administrative regulation concerning suicide prevention, as required by Assembly Bill 2246, enacted last year. Authored by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, the bill requires school districts to adopt formal suicide-prevention, intervention and follow-up plans for all middle and high school students, including provisions that specifically address the needs of “high-risk groups.”

Source: Budget, suicide-prevention policy on Kairos agenda

Gov. Brown agrees not to hold back money from California schools next year | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

California school districts won’t have to wait an extra year to get nearly $1 billion in one-time funding, as Gov. Jerry Brown proposed last month. And after-school and summer program providers will see their first funding increase in more than a decade, under the terms of the 2017-18 state budget that legislative leaders and the Brown administration negotiated last week.

The Legislature must pass the proposed $126 billion state budget by Thursday to meet a constitutional deadline. Schools and community colleges will get a sizable share of the funding increase. Funding under Proposition 98, the formula that determines K-12 and community colleges’ share of state revenue, will rise $3.1 billion – 4.4 percent – to $74.5 billion. School districts’ share of the increase will be $2.8 billion.

Source: Gov. Brown agrees not to hold back money from California schools next year | EdSource

State school leader gives fed ed budget proposal a failing grade – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Tom Torlakson, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, Tuesday urged Congress to reject President Trump’s federal education budget proposal, which includes cuts that he described as “deep” to teacher training, after school programs, mental health services, advanced coursework, among others.

“I give this budget an ‘F’ grade for failing public school students in California and across the nation,” Torlakson, who leads the country’s largest public school system with more than 6.2 million students, said in a press release. “We need to invest more in our public schools, not slash away at programs that help students succeed.”

A former East Bay high school science teacher and athletics coach, he noted that the proposed federal education budget heads in a completely different direction than the California approach to education funding.

 

Source: State school leader gives fed ed budget proposal a failing grade

President Trump’s Proposal to Eliminate Federal Support for Certain K-12 Programs – California Budget & Policy Center

By Jonathan Kaplan

As we blogged about recently, President Trump’s budget blueprint for federal “discretionary” spending proposes significant cuts to a range of key public systems and services. While this so-called “skinny budget” lacks important details, it calls for eliminating two K-12 education programs and, by doing so, would reduce the funding available to every California school district as well as to many community-based organizations across the state. California is estimated to receive more than $365 million for these two programs in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017, which began October 1, 2016: $252 million for Supporting Effective Instruction (SEI) State Grants (also known as “Title II, Part A” funds), which aim in part to increase the number of educators and advance their quality and effectiveness; and $114 million for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school as well as summer school programs. Although these two federal funding streams represent just a fraction of the $74.5 billion overall that is budgeted for K-12 education in California in 2016-17 (the state fiscal year that began July 1, 2016), their elimination would disproportionately affect students from low-income families because dollars for these programs are targeted to these learners.

Source: President Trump’s Proposal to Eliminate Federal Support for Certain K-12 Programs Would Hurt Economically Disadvantaged Students in Every Part of California – California Budget & Policy Center

Travis Unified on solid financial footing – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified’s 2016-17 second interim budget report Tuesday was good news for a district that, in relatively recent years past, filed a series of negative or qualified budgets — generally regarded as troubling designations — with the county and state.

During a governing board meeting, Anna Pimentel, director of fiscal services, told trustees that she anticipates a “positive” budget certification, meaning the district will be able to pay its bills for the current fiscal year and the next two, for which she showed, in a slide presentations, budget projections for the 2017-18 and 18-19 years.

In a 20-minute presentation, Pimentel, as expected, noted minor changes to revenues, expenses and the beginning and ending fund balances.

 

Source: Travis Unified on solid financial footing

Second interim budget, safe school plans on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The 2016-17 second interim budget report and safe school plans are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Anna Pimentel, director of fiscal services, and Sara Smith, assistant director of fiscal services, will present the latest budget interim report, and, based on agenda documents provided, it appears some of the information will echo the report presented at the Feb. 14 governing board meeting.

Still, as other area school districts have reported recently, they will note any likely minor changes to revenues, expenses and the beginning and ending fund balances. Perhaps most important, Pimentel will tell the five-member governing board that she anticipates a “positive” budget certification, meaning the district will be able to pay its bills for the current fiscal year and the next two. She also will offer budget projections for the 2017-18 and 18-19 years.

Source: Second interim budget, safe school plans on TUSD agenda

Special Education Funding Maintained in Trump Administration Budget Blueprint – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

The “skinny” budget blueprint released by the Trump administration Thursday would maintain current spending levels for special education—about $13 billion, most of which is money sent directly to states.

The budget blueprint is just the beginning of a long process. While this document shows the administration’s priorities, it is Congress that ultimately passes spending legislation. And lawmakers have their own ideas about what programs should be cut, and which should be kept.

But, if these funding amounts were to stay in place, the federal contribution for special education and related services would be about 16 percent of the excess costs of educating a student with a disability, compared to a general education student.

In 1975, when the federal government passed the law that was to become the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Congress authorized paying states up to 40 percent of the excess costs of educating a student with disabilities, based on national per-pupil expenditures. But in the 40-plus years of the law’s existence, the federal government has never gotten close to meeting that goal. The Trump administration is not different from other administrations in that regard.

Source: Special Education Funding Maintained in Trump Administration Budget Blueprint – On Special Education – Education Week

Vacaville Unified agenda: 16-17 budget report, mental health supports, $38M bond sale – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The second interim 2016-17 budget report, an update about district mental health supports, and the sale of $38 million in Measure A bonds are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight in Vacaville.

Deo Persaud, the chief business officer, will note major changes since the first interim report in December; updates on revenues and expenses and the ending fund balance; multiyear projections (with assumptions); and next steps.

The district will file a positive certification, based on current projections, meaning it will be able to pay its bills for the current year and next year, he will tell the seven-member governing board.

In a slide presentation, he will note $113.4 million in expenses (a slight change from a previous report), with an ending balance of nearly $18 million (also a slight change), with 8 percent in prudent reserves of more than $9 million.

Source: Vacaville Unified agenda: 16-17 budget report, mental health supports, $38M bond sale

Budget report, open enrollment, alternative elementary configurations on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The second interim budget report, open enrollment practices, and alternative elementary school configurations are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.

As school districts statewide are doing in March, an update on the rural eastern Solano district’s 2016-17 budget likely will be approved by the five-member board. Adrian Vargas, assistant superintendent for business and operations, will make the presentation.

He is expected to note the $34 million budget will incur some red ink, about $286,000, with an ending balance of $3.4 million. Vargas will tell trustees that the district’s budget will receive a positive certification and district officials will be able to pay their bills for the current year and the next two.

The district’s projected $32.2 million 2017-18 budget likely will continue to evolve with Gov. Brown’s “May revise” of the state budget before a final district budget is sent the County Office of Education, Vargas will probably note.

 

Source: Budget report, open enrollment, alternative elementary configurations on DUSD agenda

Vallejo school board to meet during special meeting Tuesday – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Facing a projected budget deficit for at least the next two fiscal years, the Vallejo City Unified School District Board is convening a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to receive information about the district’s financial health.

VCUSD staff is projected the district’s expenditures will exceed its revenues by about $4.7 million for fiscal year 2017-18.

The deficit spending is projected to continue for fiscal year 2018-19, with VCUSD receiving about $147 million in revenues while its expenditures top $150 million.

The board will also receive information about a district plan to slash $3.6 million from the upcoming budget to lessen the deficit impact in fiscal year 2017-18.

Prior to the budget discussions, the board is expected to begin the meeting in closed session to address potential administrative reassignments.

 

Source: Vallejo school board to meet during special meeting Tuesday