By Madison Hirneisen
California lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk this week that would require cash-strapped school districts to run an “equity impact analysis” before closing a school.
If enacted, supporters say it will require school districts to be transparent about the impact of closures beyond the fiscal cost.
Lawmakers advanced Assembly Bill 1912 on Tuesday, which requires school districts to develop an equity impact analysis with metrics that analyze the condition of a school facility, the operating cost of the school, special programs available at the school, pupil demographics and transportation needs of students, among other things, before considering closure or consolidation.
Source: California bill slowing school closure process heads to Newsom | National News | kpvi.com
By Kathryn Baron
Deferred payments to California schools and community colleges will fall to their lowest level in five years this academic year, and repayments for previous deferrals is starting sooner than expected. Instead of waiting until January, the state will pay back $1.57 billion it borrowed from K-12 schools next week, and the $300 million owed to community colleges is all scheduled to arrive this Friday rather than half this month and half next.
“It’s yet another indicator that the state’s fiscal condition is continuing to improve,” said State Finance Director Ana Matosantos, giving credit to “a sound budget, diligent debt management, and the passage of Proposition 30.”
via First sign of better times for schools under Prop 30 – by Kathryn Baron.
EdSource’s Executive Director Louis Freedberg participated in an online Q&A session with Patch.com’s Alex Gronke. Questions focused on what the state’s economic outlook may mean for K-14 education in California, including a discussion on the impact of Prop. 30. Listen to the entire session below or visit Patch.com.
via Freedberg talks about current state of public K-14 education in California – by Brent Zupp.
A tuition refund of $249 or more per semester that the California State University system is planning to give most full-time students will be a godsend for thousands feeling financially pinched in their academic pursuits.
But the move will also reduce tuition revenues into the system by about 3 percent this school year — money that administrators will have to find somewhere else if they want to avoid further cutbacks.
via Tuition Refund Will Net CSU Students $250, but Set System Back $132 Million.
by Louis Freedberg
The passage of Proposition 30 represents a major victory for public schools, and for Governor Jerry Brown, but still to be tackled are multiple challenges facing California’s education future.
Here are eight principal challenges:
1. Bringing the state’s funding levels up to the U.S. average
Latest estimates rank California 46th in per capita spending compared to other states. Over the past decade, the gap between California spending per student and the national average has grown from $691 in 2001-02 to $2856 in 2010-11. According to the California Budget Project, just bringing California to the national average – let alone the highest-spending states like Massachusetts or New Jersey – would cost $17.3 billion, three times more than the amount raised by Prop. 30. The discrepancy raises a basic issue of fairness: Should California’s children be subjected to a less effective education than their peers in many others states just because they happened to be born here?
via Beyond Proposition 30: Eight Challenges for California’s education future – by Louis Freedberg.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s campaign for Proposition 30, his sales and income tax increase, more or less promised voters that it would solve the state’s chronic budget problems.
It was a somewhat specious contention, although apparently an effective one, since voters did pass the measure.
Scarcely a week later, though, we were told by the Legislature’s budget analyst, Mac Taylor, that there’s still a deficit in the current fiscal year’s budget, albeit a relatively small one.
via Dan Walters: Despite tax increase, California’s fiscal woes remain.
Funding for California schools through Proposition 98 is heading up, even though the state’s general fund will still be facing a small deficit over the next couple of years. That’s according to the latest budget forecast released yesterday by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO).
“Our numbers reflect growth in Proposition 98 of a couple of billion each year, even more in the out years,” said Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor during a press conference in Sacramento.
Passage of Proposition 30 is a significant part of that, said Taylor, along with budget cuts in recent years and the state’s economic recovery. Proposition 30, which temporarily raises the sales tax and increases income taxes on the wealthiest Californians, is expected to raise the Prop. 98 guarantee by about $3 billion a year.
via Soon no more seeing red in state education funding, says LAO – by Kathryn Baron.
By David Siders
Gov. Jerry Brown prodded University of California regents Wednesday to pursue online course offerings to reduce costs, saying they must “get more grounded” in their approach to education.
The Democratic governor’s remarks came at a meeting of the UC system’s governing board, which postponed a vote on fee increases at Brown’s request.
Brown had said in his campaign to raise taxes that his initiative, Proposition 30, would avert tuition increases this year. The measure’s passage, however, does not prevent universities from raising other fees.
via Jerry Brown tells UC regents they need ‘heroic’ moves to save money, such as online courses.
The Vallejo school board will hear today how the passage of Proposition 30 will affect the district’s bottom line.
Last week, voters approved the sales tax and income tax on the wealthy hikes, staving off millions in cuts to K-12 education in California.
The school board had trimmed $5.7 million from the Vallejo City Unified School District budget last school year in preparation for the ballot measure’s failure. The cuts included raising K-3 class sizes to 32 students from 28 and shortening the school year by five days through furloughs.
via Vallejo school board will hear how Prop 30 affects finances today.
By Laurel Rosenhall
For the second time this week, a California university system has postponed a vote on fee increases as Gov. Jerry Brown makes the rounds touting the success of his Proposition 30 tax measure.
University of California regents announced Tuesday that at Brown’s request, they yanked an item from today’s agenda that called for raising fees at several UC professional schools, including schools of nursing, business, law and medicine. Brown, who sits on UC’s governing board, plans to attend today’s regents meeting in San Francisco.
via Jerry Brown asks to delay discussion of university fees hikes.
It’s amazing how fast we can adjust to an inadequate educational status quo. Somebody in Sacramento called it “re-benching our lowered expectations.”
For months, mostly thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s intense campaign, California’s school supporters had been in a state of nerves, swinging from excitement to near-panic: If Proposition 30, the governor’s proposed tax increase, was to fail, the budget trigger would force schools to lop yet more days off the calendar, lay off yet more teachers, and cut still more programs.
via What last Tuesday’s vote got us (not much) – by Peter Schrag.
Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s sales and income tax hike, was easily the most contentious measure on last week’s ballot.
As they were passing Proposition 30, however, millions of California voters were also deciding whether to impose even more taxes upon themselves to relieve budget pressure on local governments and school districts – and most of them also passed.
via Dan Walters: California Democrats will propose easing of parcel tax voting rules.
Statewide passage of Proposition 30 spread cautious relief across local campuses Wednesdays as schools and colleges avoided millions in threatened cuts.
“I’m really, really relieved,” said Christal Watts, president of the Vallejo Education Association, about the 54 percent statewide approval of the contentious income tax/sales tax hike measure.
Coming only days after Vallejo teachers agreed to take two unpaid days off, the election results triggered a likely reversal of an earlier action requiring three more furlough days, a district official said Wednesday. Other contingency cuts also might be restored.
via Proposition 30 approval gives relief to Vallejo schools, colleges.
By Louis Freedberg and Carl Cohn
The welcome passage of Proposition 30 by voters this week will help avert an immediate fiscal crisis in our schools. But it will not undo the damage of years of underinvestment in public education in the state.
Additional help could come from those who contributed to any number of federal, state or local campaigns during the just-ended electoral season.
While California and the nation have recorded political contributions in the billions of dollars, schools still face enormous needs, as EdSource’s “Schools Under Stress” report documented.
via Campaign contributors should make matching donations to schools – by Louis Freedberg and Carl Cohn.
“We are very thankful our schools will not have to face trigger cuts to their budgets this school year,” said Speck. “Revenues generated by Proposition 30 over the next seven years will support K-12 schools and community colleges beginning in the current school year. The passage of Prop 30 means that Solano schools will not have to cut $24.1 million or possibly reduce the school year by up to three weeks.”
via Solano County Superintendent thanks voters for passage of Proposition 30
By Kathryn Baron and John Fensterwald
California schools’ rendezvous with rock bottom is over. A massive grassroots campaign, an eleventh hour surge in advertising and strategic targeting of likely voters pulled Proposition 30 over the halfway mark yesterday, giving both Gov. Jerry Brown and California public schools and community colleges a victory. With all of the vote reported, Prop 30 led 53.9 to 46.1 percent. The initiative is expected to raise nearly $7 billion for education this year by raising income taxes on the wealthiest Californians and increasing the state sales tax by a quarter-cent for the next four years.
“I know some people had some doubts, had some questions – can you really go to people and ask them to raise their tax?” Brown told supporters celebrating at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento Tuesday night. “We had a lot of obstacles. We overcame them.”
via Big win for schools as Prop 30 defies polls – by Kathryn Baron and John Fensterwald.
Let’s begin with the bedrock principle that voters deserve full disclosure of who’s giving money to whom for what.
In fact, we’d be much better served to make full and immediate disclosure of campaign funds our sole regulation of political money, rather than the complex mélange of federal and state laws, regulations and court decisions that now purport – but fail – to protect the political process.
So from that standpoint, the California Fair Political Practices Commission is correct in demanding, as it has done for the last couple of weeks, more information about the source of $11 million in money that flowed into a committee against Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 and for Proposition 32.
via Dan Walters: Campaign disclosure shouldn’t be this complicated.
Jerry Brown has amassed a strong record of winning California elections in a career that’s spanned more than four decades, beginning with a seat on the Los Angeles community college board in 1969.
Brown has been elected governor three times, mayor of Oakland twice and attorney general and secretary of state once each. He sponsored a successful political reform initiative in 1974 and associated himself with another successful spending limit campaign five years later.
Brown’s most conspicuous failure came in 1982, when Pete Wilson beat him badly for a U.S. Senate seat.
via Dan Walters: Prop. 30 and Jerry Brown’s future.
Motorists honked and cheered Vallejo teachers on Friday as they demonstrated during the district’s second consecutive furlough day.
“It’s encouraging,” said Frances Grasso, a first-grade teacher at Elsa Widenmann Elementary School who joined dozens of other teachers and their allies on Redwood Parkway and Admiral Callaghan Lane.
Vallejo City Unified School District campuses were shut down Thursday and Friday during the first two of five negotiated furlough days this school year. The agreement was part of the district’s effort to plug a $5.7 million deficit caused by ever-decreasing state funding.
via Vallejo teachers demonstrate for Proposition 30 on furlough day.
By Louis Freedberg
Proponents of Propositions 30 and 38 have now poured a combined total of $117 million to convince voters to support their respective measures, both of which are intended to raise billions of dollars for schools and other programs.
Spending on behalf of Proposition 30, the tax initiative sponsored by Governor Jerry Brown that will raise an average of $6 billion for schools and other state programs, has jumped to $69.4 million, according to MapLight, a nonpartisan Berkeley-based research organization. Meanwhile, spending on behalf of Prop. 38, the rival measure sponsored by civil rights attorney Molly Munger, who is also the heiress to the fortune of her father Charles T. Munger Sr., the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, totals $47.8 million.
via MapLight: Campaign spending to promote Props. 30 and 38 exceeds $100 million – by Louis Freedberg.