By John Fensterwald
Dissatisfied with the uneven quality of distance learning among school districts after they closed in March, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature established minimum requirements for the next school year in legislation accompanying the 2020-21 budget.
For many districts, the school year will begin next month. With Covid-19 infection rates and deaths rising, some districts, including the state’s largest, announced this week they’ll open solely with remote learning or hybrid instruction, with some in-person and some remote teaching.
The minimum requirements include ensuring every student is equipped with a computer and internet access, taking daily attendance and interacting with students in some form every day. Proponents of the standards say they’re pleased the Legislature acted but haven’t given up lobbying for additional requirements, particularly more extensive online teaching.
Source: Parents must have a say in districts’ distance learning plans under new California law – The Reporter
By Ricardo Cano
California’s new budget provides enough funding for schools to pivot to hybrid learning when they reopen this fall. But school officials fear Sacramento’s decision to delay cuts could throw districts into the fiscal abyss later.
The $202 billion budget Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Monday largely keeps intact funding for California’s public schools, capping a turbulent couple months of budget negotiations.
Initially, schools were in line to receive a steady increase in funding when the governor introduced his January proposal, with money going to long-term efforts to expand early childhood programs and other targeted efforts, including grants to incentivize educators to teach in low-income schools.
Source: What state’s budget means for K-12 schools – Daily Democrat
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued the following statement today in response to the Legislature’s approval of the 2020-21 state budget for K-12 public education:
“I want to commend our leaders in the Assembly and Senate for working with the Governor to preserve funding for education and to avoid the permanent cuts and layoffs that would have been devastating for California’s public schools and students just when they need us the most. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our economy, and we are grateful that this budget recognizes that investments in public education will be a critical driver to our state’s rebound.
Source: SPI Issues Statement in Response to Ed Budget – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
BY Nick Sestanovich
The Governing Board of the Vacaville Unified School District will consider adopting with a projected $116 million in General Fund revenues for the 2020-21 academic year at its Thursday meeting.
The revenue assumptions used for the budget are based on projections from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May revisions to the state budget. The district’s budget is also linked to the approval process of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), both of which require a public hearing and adoption. The budget approval process will have both at Thursday’s school board meeting, while an LCAP hearing will be held at a later date.
For the 2020-21 school year, VUSD is anticipating $5 million in local funding, $9 million in state funding, $4.6 million in federal funding and $97.9 million in funding from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), a funding system which establishes grants in place of funding streams. Combined, the funding systems are projected to provide more than $116 million for the next school year.
Source: Vacaville school board to consider budgets for district, Kimme – The Reporter
By Maggie Angst and John Woolfolk
As California struggles to manage the impact of the growing coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced a state budget deal that avoids deep education cuts to close a cavernous deficit created by the crisis.
Newsom offered few details in the deal hashed out with legislative leaders late Sunday, but he stressed that the most feared cuts to public schools that he’d called for to help close a $54.3 billion shortfall will be averted.
“We have provisions against teacher layoffs,” Newsom said Monday. “That is good news, that was foundational, something we all cared deeply about. There was concern and anxiety about layoffs and pink slips and that was substantially addressed.”
Source: Gov. Newsom: California budget deal avoids teacher layoffs – The Reporter
Legislators will vote on a new state budget Monday, even though they have yet to strike a deal with Gov. Gavin Newsom on a plan to close California’s $54.3 billion deficit.
The move could be largely procedural. State Senate and Assembly leaders said Wednesday that lawmakers plan to vote and then continue “productive” talks with Newsom, to meet a June 15 deadline for passing a budget or have their pay cut off.
Their plan is to take up a budget that legislative leaders announced last week, which differed in several respects from the version Newsom put forward in May.
Source: California Legislature pressing forward on budget vote without deal with Newsom [San Francisco Chronicle]
By Todd R. Hansen
A public hearing on facility needs for the Travis School District and a proposed Level 2 fee on new residential construction will be conducted Tuesday when the Board of Trustees meet during a virtual session.
Board members also will take public comment on the proposed 2020-21 budget, and will later in the meeting consider adoption of the budget, which also includes financial projections for 2021-22 and 2022-23.
“The Proposed Adopted Budget for 2020-21 demonstrates that the district will be able to meet its financial obligations for (2020-21) with the use of ending fund balance reserves. However, the district will not be able to meet its obligations in the subsequent years without substantial reductions to expenditures,” the budget document states.
Source: Travis school trustees to consider budget, new construction impact fees
By Daily Republic Staff
Travis School District officials announced various administrative changes Monday to help the district cover an expected budget deficit for the 2020-21 school year.
The changes were announced in a press release from the district and were described as a first step to help close a multimillion-dollar budget gap caused by the current health crisis.
Matt Smith, current superintendent of MIT Academy in Vallejo, will begin July 1 as Director of Student Services at the district office.
Current Director Vince Ruiz will begin as the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources as a result of the retirement of Clay McAllester.
Source: Travis School District announces staff changes in initial step to close $4M budget gap
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for the fiscal year 2020–21:
“The COVID-19 crisis has had a disastrous impact on the state’s economy, and the updated projections today offer sobering details of that reality. I want to thank Governor Newsom for working hard to prioritize and preserve public education as one of the vital, core services we must protect as we weather this economic downturn. Today’s updated budget proposal includes a variety of measures designed to avoid permanent cuts to education, which otherwise could have lasting impacts on a generation of students.
“While the measures outlined in today’s proposal are far from what our schools need, we also understand that our state is facing impossible choices under impossible circumstances. I will continue to advocate on behalf of our students and educators through each step of the Legislature’s budget adoption process in the coming weeks.
Source: SPI Issues Statement in Response to May Revise – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
By Glen Faison
Travis School District trustees on Tuesday will review the state of the district’s various budget categories, some of which show tens of thousands of dollars in red ink and others that improved dramatically over the course of the academic year.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. All board members will attend via teleconference.
Trustees are expected to review the district’s third interim budget report, which shows end-of-the projections of various funds as of April 30. Those projections show increased reductions in various fund balances for the current year and for the next two years, the staff report states.
Source: Travis schools trustees to review budget projections
By Andrew Ujifusa
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has officially announced that $13.5 billion in emergency coronavirus funding for K-12 schools is now available.
The billions in additional aid was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law by President Donald Trump last month. The money will initially go to states, but at least 90 percent ultimately must be passed along to school districts via the Title I formula designed to help schools with large shares of students from low-income households.
Schools can use this pot of CARES Act money for a variety of purposes to help them deal with the fallout of the virus, which has forced dozens of states to shut down in-person classes for the rest of the school year. For example, educators can use it to provide access to the internet for students struggling to learn remotely, mental health supports, and support for special populations of students such as those who are homeless.
Source: Betsy DeVos Releases Billions More in Coronavirus Education Aid – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By John Glidden
As the Vallejo school district heads into a new fiscal year, trustees will get their first look at proposed budget cuts meant to keep the district fiscally solvent.
The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will meet Wednesday to receive information only about the district’s plan to slash at least $5.4 million from the 2020-21 fiscal year budget. Fiscal years run from July 1 to the following June 30.
The plan to be presented includes over $6 million in cuts with a bulk of that amount coming from the elimination of 62.81 full-time equivalency (FTE) positions.
Source: Vallejo school board gets first looks at additional cuts – Times-Herald
By Naaz Modan
President Donald Trump announced his proposed 2021 fiscal year budget Monday afternoon, once more suggesting cuts to the Department of Education and its notable K-12 programs.
Overall, the budget allocates $66.6 billion for the Department of Education, 7.8% or $5.6 billion less than the previous year.
Among proposed changes is a push to restructure the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into a block grant of $19.4 billion, which would consolidate major programs into its fold, including the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Title I and Title II, and amount to $4.8 billion less than what Congress approved for 2020.
Source: Trump’s proposed 2021 budget: ESSA overhaul, Title I cuts, CTE emphasis | Education Dive
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020–21.
“Over the last year, my team and I have been collaborating with educational partners, including teachers and administrators all over the state, through my 13 workgroups, to establish and validate the areas of focus and priority initiatives for the California Department of Education,” said Thurmond. “Today, we were pleased to hear that many of the budget announcements were aligned with the work we have been doing. Governor Newsom and his team have produced a budget that is comprehensive, aligns with our goals to ensure equitable education for all students, and allows us to focus on helping our most vulnerable students in underserved communities.”
The budget includes the largest K–12 education per pupil expenditure in history. It proposes increasing K–12 education by $3 billion, with an investment of approximately $900 million for teacher preparation and retention.
Source: Thurmond Praises Governor Newsom’s 2020 Budget – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
By John Glidden
Vallejo Unified School District officials anticipate there will be less than 10,000 students attending district schools by the 2021-22 school year, continuing the trend of declining enrollment.
The Vallejo school board on Dec. 11 unanimously approved the first interim report for the district’s budget — which includes anticipated student attendance.
Adrian Vargas, the district’s chief business official, said the district expects to have about 9,892 students in two years — down at least 1,300 students from the current count of 11,259. He noted student loss to ELITE Charter School and the new Griffin Academy High School as two of the primary reasons.
Source: Vallejo district gets budget update — expected to drop under 10,000 students in two years – Times-Herald
On June 27, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the 2019-20 state budget, an agreement with state legislative leaders that makes a series of investments in creating economic security and opportunities for Californians, while also fostering the state’s fiscal health.
The budget includes revenues and transfers of $146 billion for 2019-20. This represents an increase of more than $4 billion over the enacted 2018-19 budget, driven largely by the state’s continued economic growth.
The budget package includes a mix of one-time and ongoing investments vital to low- and middle-income Californian’s economic prosperity, including: a significant expansion of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), additional investments in early childhood development, extending paid family leave, continuing to expand health coverage, boosting investments in the K-12 and state higher education systems, and promoting greater access to mental health services. The 2019-20 budget also provides funding for housing affordability and to address homelessness, recognizing that the high cost of housing continues to burden and destabilize many Californians. These proposals, individually and in combination, will significantly improve the health and well-being of millions of Californians, most notably low- and middle-income people of color, immigrants, and women and children.
Source: 2019-20 Budget Includes Balanced Investments – Cal Budget
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The Vallejo City Unified School District will need to cut nearly $8 million in the next two years. With that in mind, its board of trustees will consider approving next year’s budget, an agreement with its bargaining units and an arrangement with ELITE Charter School at the school board meeting.
They will also consider approving millions in construction/improvement projects to be paid through Measure S funds at the meeting set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Revenue enhancements and/or budget reductions of $7,750,000 in 2020-2021 and $7,750,000 in 2021-2022 will be included in the district’s 2019-2020 first interim report.
Source: Vallejo school district to weigh cuts, expenditures – Times Herald
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
With millions of Measure S dollars in the bank, the Vallejo City Unified School District must still find a way to cut millions from its budget, it was learned at Wednesday’s school board meeting.
At the meeting, trustees learned both that the first sale of Measure S bonds, which will help pay for facilities repairs and upgrades, went better than expected and will cost slightly less per taxpayer to repay, but also that projected enrollment declines are expected to wreak havoc on the district’s budget.
Nearly $39 million came in from the bond sale – some $600,000 more than expected — and is in the bank and ready to use. The next bond sale should happen in 2021.
Source: Millions in bond funds banked, millions must be cut from Vallejo school budget – Times-Herald
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Vallejo City Unified School District officials will discuss how to spend the millions of dollars coming in from bond sales, even as they prepare for deep cuts to compensate for continued declining enrollment.
Items dealing with having enough teachers are also on the agenda during Wednesday’s meeting.
One of the items on Wednesday’s meeting agenda would make it possible to sell the district offices if needed. Right now, the district is leasing the site for $1 per year from Lennar Mare Island, which has yet to draw up the required paperwork conveying ownership to the district for the agreed-upon price of $1.
Source: Vallejo school district to discuss how to use bond money – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for fiscal year 2019–20. “Our Governor just announced the largest-ever investment in K–12 schools, with 45 percent of all proposed increased spending to benefit our schools. We applaud this commitment to public education, especially by adding funding to assist students with the greatest needs. The revision also makes significant investments in the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers, and supporting the financial burdens they face,” he said.
Governor Newsom proposed increasing K–12 education by $4.4 billion in non-Proposition 98 spending for the benefit of our schools, while Prop 98 funding is at $81.1 billion, the most it has been in years.“
I am pleased that Governor Newsom is placing a top priority on education and look forward to a strong, productive partnership with him, the Legislature, and all stakeholders in the next few years that will lift up all of our students by improving our education system and increasing the resources that go to our schools—today’s announcements prove his commitment to increasing funding for public education,” he said.
Source: Thurmond Praises Newsom’s K–12 Education Budget – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)