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
By Richard Bammer
A discussion of 2018-19 budget priorities will be among the more significant items of an otherwise relatively light agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.
Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of business services, will lead the discussion, which will be based on Gov. Jerry Brown’s $190 billion 2018-19 state budget proposal, released in January and due for revision in May.
Her presentation, casting an eye on the impact of the state’s numbers on the district’s, will come two weeks after she led a budget presentation at the trustees’ Jan. 25 meeting.
Specifically, Henson will note that projected average daily attendance (ADA) funding for the coming year will be about $9,450 for each of the district’s estimated 20,550 students, yielding some $194 million in state funding under Brown’s landmark Local Control Funding Formula. Additionally, she will tell the seven-member governing board, one-time discretionary funds from the current year will account for some $6 million in additional funds spent on students.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District to discuss 2018-19 budget priorities
By Nick Sestanovich
Benicia Unified School District would need to make $800,000 in ongoing adjustments for its budget to break even, Chief Business Official Tim Rahill reported at Thursday’s school board meeting.
On Jan. 10, Gov. Jerry Brown announced his final January budget proposal. After gathering information from the proposal, Rahill said BUSD would need to make $800,000 in continuing budget adjustments for the budget to become balanced and provide for California’s required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainties— which is currently $1.4 million— and the board policy reserve— which stands at $2 million.
“Both of those reserves are enacted to help provide financial stability for the district in tough economic times, such as continuing declining student enrollment which our district has experienced for at least two years in a row,” Rahill said.Reserves can also provide security in times of state or national recessions or economic slowdowns, Rahill said.
The chief business official said BUSD would receive an estimated $1.3 million in one-time funds, which would be spent on items like books, technology, 21st-century classrooms and professional development, including the instructional coaching model. The money would not be spent on items that have a cost to the district over multiple years.
Source: BUSD business chief: $800K needed for balanced budget
By John Glidden
A morose Vallejo school board unanimously approved devastating budget cuts Tuesday night as 50 district positions were eliminated.
The move will save the Vallejo City Unified School District about $4.3 million for its upcoming 2018-19 fiscal year budget.
A sizable audience was on hand to learn about the cuts during the special board meeting held at Steffan Manor Elementary School.
“Every position in the district is directed toward supporting the classroom, so none of these reductions, that we are recommending, are easy to make,” VCUSD Superintendent Adam Clark said to the board and those in attendance. “They all are useful, they all are needed within our district to support our students. Every last one of them.”
Source: Vallejo trustees slash $4.3 million from budget
By John Glidden
Possible teacher layoffs dominated the conversation Wednesday night, as the Vallejo school board discussed cutting $8.9 million from the district’s 2018-19 budget.
“I don’t want to cut anything in the classroom and I’m going to be watching that carefully,” said Trustee Tony Ublade as preliminary reductions being proposed by the district include cutting about 32 teaching positions. This amounts to $2.6 million in savings, district staff said.
Vallejo Education Association President Sheila Gradwohl said the unpredictably of teacher layoffs affects everyone.
“The feeling you get when this happens is one of uncertainty, you’re scared, you don’t know if you can pay bills, it really affects you and if it affects you, it affects your kids, affects the students you teach,” Gradwohl said.
Source: Vallejo trustees get first look at budget cuts
By Ryan McCarthy
State spending on public schools doesn’t match California’s wealth, ambitions, demographics or demands of a 21st century education, says a resolution that Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees approved Thursday.
“This is so very necessary,” said David Isom, the board of trustees president.
The resolution states that “Despite its vast wealth, California has consistently underfunded public education while widening its scope, adding new requirements and raising standards without providing appropriate resources to prepare all students for college, career and civil life.”
Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees support more money for California schools
By Ryan McCarthy
State spending on public schools doesn’t match California’s wealth, ambitions, demographics or demands of a 21st century education, says a resolution that goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday.
“Despite its vast wealth, California has consistently underfunded public education while widening its scope, adding new requirements and raising standards without providing appropriate resources to prepare all students for college, career and civil life,” according to the resolution.
Kris Corey, superintendent of the Fairfield-Suisun School District, said in a report to trustees that “California has the world’s sixth-largest economy and the highest gross domestic product of any state.”
Source: School board group says up to $40B more needed annually for quality education
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board will get its first look on Wednesday at proposed reductions which will slash about $8.9 million from the district’s 2018-19 budget.
Numerous staffing cuts, including teachers, site safety supervisors, and administrators are part of the reductions.
Taking the biggest administrative hit is the district’s Partnerships & Community Engagement Division. Cuts include elimination of the division’s top two positions.
Alana Shackelford has served as chief partnerships and community engagement officer since being promoted to the position in the summer of 2015 by former Superintendent Ramona Bishop.
Last week, the school board approved moving Kathleen Gossett to principal of Johnston Cooper Elementary School. Gossett was tapped to be director of partnership & community engagement after Shackelford’s promotion three years ago.
Source: Vallejo school board to review budget reductions
On January 10, Governor Jerry Brown released a proposed 2018-19 budget that prioritizes building up reserves amid deep uncertainty about looming federal budget proposals, the impacts of the recently enacted federal tax bill, and future economic conditions. The Governor forecasts revenues that are $4.2 billion higher (over a three-year “budget window” from 2016-17 to 2018-19) than previously projected in the 2017-18 budget enacted last June, driven largely by continued economic growth. The Governor’s budget assumes no changes to current federal policies and funding levels and is not yet able to account for the potential impacts of the Republican tax bill passed in late December.
The Governor’s proposed budget reflects some notable advances, such as providing funding to fully implement the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 education (designed to direct additional resources to disadvantaged students), continuing to invest in early education and higher education, and creating a home visiting pilot program that would offer a range of supports for families participating in welfare-to-work (CalWORKs). In addition, the proposal maintains resources to address the impact of federal actions targeting the state’s immigrant residents. Yet, the Governor also places a heavy emphasis on building California’s reserves. He proposes making a one-time supplemental deposit of $3.5 billion to the state’s rainy day fund, in addition to the $1.5 billion required by Proposition 2 (2014). This proposed $5.0 billion deposit would raise the rainy day fund balance to the Prop. 2 maximum of 10 percent of General Fund tax revenues.
Source: First Look: Budget Proposal Prioritizes Saving for a Rainy Day Amid Federal and Economic Uncertainties – California Budget & Policy Center
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board is expected to name four additional members to the district’s Budget Advisory Committee on Wednesday.
Vallejo school district Superintendent Adam Clark is recommending the board appoint Ken Salas, Lynette Henley, Hazel Wilson, and Shawnee Blaylock.
The California School Employee Association and Vallejo Education Association will be represented by Salas and Henley, respectively.
Wilson is a former Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board trustee and will represent the community while Blaylock is a parent/guardian member.
The four will join VCUSD Trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown, the district’s Chief Operations Officer Mitchell Romao, community members Allan Yeap and Ravi Shankar, Kimberly Mitchell-Lewis and Rosalind Hines of the Vallejo School Managers Association.
Source: Vallejo trustees to appoint more members to committee
By Ryan McCarthy
A plan that calls for $19 million in spending for a new library, gym and locker buildings at the Public Safety Academy won support Thursday from Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees.
School district staff had recommended approval for the agreement between the district and Landmark Construction in Placer County.
The Public Safety Academy opened in 2012 and has a higher attendance rate than other schools in the Fairfield-Suisun School District, few suspensions and “is doing very well,” according to a self-study for its accreditation.
Source: Board backs $19M in work for Public Safety Academy
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement today on Governor Brown’s proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year:
“Governor Brown’s budget proposal provides a big boost to our public school students. The proposal shows how far we have come as a state in the past seven years in increasing investments in education so our students can continue to succeed in college and the 21st Century economy.
The proposal adds $3.8 billion to the annual Proposition 98 guarantee for public education, which will raise per-pupil spending 66 percent above 2011-12 levels and bring total Proposition 98 funding from $47.3 billion in 2011-12 to $78.3 billion. The proposed budget will provide $11,614 per pupil in the next fiscal year, compared with $7,008 in 2011-12.
The budget also maintains Governor Brown’s commitment to fully funding the Local Control Funding Formula. The formula is California’s ambitious, ground-breaking plan to help all students, while giving extra resources to those with the greatest needs, students from low-income families, English learners, and foster youth.
Source: Torlakson Praises Governor’s Proposed Budget – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
Three members of Solano County’s delegation in the state Legislature issued optimistic responses Wednesday to the governor’s state budget plan.
State Assemblyman Jim Frazier said he’s proud to see the level of transportation spending in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2018-19 budget. State Sen. Bill Dodd, whose district bore the brunt of the region’s October wildfires, focused on disaster-prevention and disaster-relief spending.
“Supporting wildfire recovery and reducing fire risk must be top priorities in the budget,” Dodd said in a prepared statement. “I believe Governor Brown’s budget reflects a thoughtful starting point for this year’s budget negotiations. I will be working with the administration and my colleagues in the Legislature to expand our efforts on disaster recovery and preparedness.”
Source: Solano representatives praise governor’s proposed state budget
By Reporter Staff
In the annual reshuffling of governing board officers, Dixon Unified leaders elected Melissa Maseda, a former preschool teacher, as president, it has been announced.
Attorney Luke Foster was elected vice president; and Caitlin O’Halloran, client engagement and community relations manager, Capital Resource Network, was named clerk of the board.
The five-member governing board is rounded out by John Gabby, a mortgage broker; and Guy Garcia, a farmer, who handed the president’s gavel to Maseda.
In other matters during a trustees meeting earlier this month, Melissa Mercado, the district’s chief business officer, updated the board on the 2017-18 first interim budget, one of two annual summaries of the 3,500-student district’s financial status.
Source: Dixon board elects new officers, OKs budget report
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified trustee Angela Weinzinger handed her gavel to Riitta De Anda, whom the five-member governing board on Tuesday elected president, the vote coming during the board’s annual organization meeting in Fairfield.
Trustee Jamilah Whiteside was named vice president, and John Dickerson clerk of the board after additional votes taken in the Travis Education Center, where trustees convene once monthly.
Later in the meeting, Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone updated the five-member governing board on the district’s financial picture for the current year, one of two annual interim reports required by state law.
Source: Travis board reshuffles, approves 2017-18 budget report
By John Glidden
Vallejo school district Superintendent Adam Clark said the district will need to put a serious fiscal plan in place to prevent financial ruin.
Clark spoke to the Times-Herald Monday, almost a week after the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education learned that $12 million in cuts need to be made over the next two years.
“We were disappointed by the results of the first interim report,” Clark said about the budget update given to the board. “Although it isn’t a surprise.”
Like many districts in the state, Clark said VCUSD has a declining student population, plus, the district must deal with rising retirement costs.
Trustees learned Dec. 6 that the district must cut $8 million next school year, plus an additional $4 million during the 2019-20 or have a general fund $14 million in the red.
Source: Vallejo school district to make cuts, name budget committee
By Nick Sestanovich
The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District will hear a discussion and then vote on the district’s 2017-18 first interim financial report at Thursday’s school board meeting.The district provides the report using information from the budget adopted by the state in June along with the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) as well as other budget assumptions.
The LCFF is a funding system approved by the state in 2013 which establishes grants in place of funding streams. It is how school districts in California, including BUSD, are funded. According to a presentation by Chief Business Official Tim Rahill, the LCFF provides $8262 per BUSD student and includes a base grant as well as a 20 percent increase for English language learning or foster youth students as well as those enrolled in the free/reduced lunch program. According to Rahill, those three groups make up 22 percent of BUSD’s student population.Utilizing information from the state budget, Rahill wrote that the district would be operating at a $1.8 million operating deficit, not including negotiating costs with any of the district employee groups and would provide for the state’s 3 percent Reserve for Economic Uncertainties and the Local Board Policy Reserve, consisting of an additional 4 percent reserve.
Source: First interim financial report up for school board review
By Richard Bammer
The first interim 2017-18 budget report, nomination and election of new governing board officers, and new or modified course proposals are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.
Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone will update the five-member governing board on the district’s financial picture for the current year, one of two annual interim reports required by state law.
She will present her numbers as the state’s financial outlook remains generally healthy, with revenue collections exceeding expectations but with Gov. Jerry Brown warning public entities not to commit to ongoing, multiyear agreements.
Source: Interim budget report, officer elections on Travis Unified School District agenda
By John Glidden
A financial consultant warned the Vallejo school board that if the district continues its current spending pattern, the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations in two years.
Terri Ryland of Ryland School Business Consulting presented the grim news during a budget presentation before the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education on Wednesday night.
The district’s general fund is expected to lose $10 million during the current fiscal year, Ryland explained. If the district can’t add $12 million — $8 million in 2018-19, and $4 million in 2019-20 — in revenue to the budget, then cuts to the general fund will need to be made.
Ryland warned the district it “can’t do business as usual.”
Source: Deep cuts needed for Vallejo City Unified School District
By Richard Bammer
At least two of Vacaville Unified’s three dependent charter schools face enough serious red ink in the coming years that staff layoffs may be required to balance the books, district leaders said Thursday night.
As Jennifer Stahlheber, chief business officer for the 12,600-student district, neared the end of her first interim 2017-18 budget report, trustee Whit Whitman raised concerns about projected decreasing ending fund balances not only for the district in general but especially for Ernest Kimme Charter Academy, Buckingham Charter High and Fairmont Charter, an elementary school.
But seeing and hearing Stahlheber’s numbers during a presentation in the Educational Services Center, he expressed worries that the schools, which are overseen by the district, face negative ending fund balances in the coming years.
Source: Staff layoffs loom for Vacaville charter schools?