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)
By Katy Murphy
As Gov. Gavin Newsom today prepares to reveal his latest budget proposal for a state flush with cash, lawmakers and interest groups are watching closely to see how the governor proposes to spend — or save — what appears to be an unprecedented windfall.
At hand is an update of the blueprint the governor unveiled in January: a $209 billion budget that included a general fund of $144 billion and a record-high surplus of $21.5 billion. It offered more money for schools, child care, affordable housing, wildfire prevention and the expansion of Medi-Cal availability to young undocumented adults, while shoring up budget reserves and paying down some of the state’s sizable pension debt.
Source: Gavin Newsom releases revised budget proposal today with huge surplus – The Reporter
By Bill Hicks
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to approve potential budget augmentations to the district’s 2019-20 budget, which are based on the projections within Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget.
The projected augmentations would result in as much as $2.8 million in cuts, which were chosen as to have the most minimal affect on the classroom learning experience, according to Assistant Superintendent with Business Services Michelle Henson.
Source: School Board OKs potential district budget augmentations
By John Glidden
There was a noticeable pause and silence from the Vallejo school board Wednesday night after board President Bob Lawson asked if any of the trustees had a motion.
After a few tense seconds, Trustee Tony Gross eventually offered up a motion to approve recommendations from Vallejo City Unified School District administrative staff to cut $7.25 million from next year’s fiscal year budget.
The board’s unanimous vote ended a terse and emotional discussion Wednesday night as the district attempts to erase a $22 million deficit and stave off insolvency.
Source: Vallejo school board makes $7.25 million in cuts – Times-Herald
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The first order of business during the public portion of the Vallejo City Unified School District’s meeting Wednesday will be the swearing in of new board member Christy Gardner. A first reading of the district’s new graduation requirement policy, and a first round of proposed budget cuts, including layoffs, is also planned.
Declining enrollment, high chronic absentee rates, rising health and benefit contributions, and charter school encroachment, has caused a significant budget shortfall. To maintain fiscal solvency and avoid the loss of local control, cuts must be made.
Superintendent Adam Clark has found some $7.2 million in cuts that come mostly through personnel and program revisions/reductions, designed to meet both the fiscal and program objectives.
Source: Budget cuts, new grad requirements are part of Vallejo school district meeting agenda – Times-Herald
By John Glidden
Preliminary projections indicate that the exodus of students from the Vallejo school district will result in 1,708 fewer pupils over the coming two years.
That’s about a $15 million hit in funding for the Vallejo City Unified School District.
The district’s board of education got a look at the sobering numbers during a special study session Wednesday night on the 2019-20 budget.
Source: Vallejo school board gets look at budget numbers – Times-Herald
On January 10, Governor Gavin Newsom released a proposed 2019-20 budget that calls for a series of bold and smart investments in broadening economic security and opportunity for Californians, while continuing to strengthen the state’s underlying fiscal health.
The Governor forecasts revenues that are $8.1 billion higher (over a three-year “budget window” from 2017-18 to 2019-20) than previously projected in the 2018-19 budget enacted last June, driven largely by continued economic growth.
The Governor’s proposal includes a range of significant expansions in support of low- and middle-income Californians who are struggling to make ends meet and access greater economic opportunity, including doubling the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, working toward universal preschool for 4-year olds, investing in child care infrastructure, expanding health care to move closer to universal coverage, expanding paid family leave, boosting CalWORKs grants, and increasing investment in state higher education systems. Recognizing that high housing costs contribute to California’s high poverty rate, Governor Newsom also proposes a mix of policies and an expanded state role to address housing needs and homelessness. These policies would make California more affordable and more equitable for millions of Californians.
Source: Governor’s Inaugural Budget Proposal Includes Bold and Smart Investments, While Maintaining Fiscal Health – California Budget & Policy Center
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20.
“Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said.
Governor Newsom proposed increasing K–12 education by $2.3 billion, investing $1.8 billion in early education, and providing $3.7 billion to help all districts deal with rising pension costs, which are stressing budgets of districts throughout the state. The pension aspect of his budget includes a proposed a one-time $3 billion contribution to CalSTRS and $700 million in each of fiscal year 2019–20 and 2020–21 to reduce the rates districts are charged for their employees’ pensions.
Source: Supt Thurmond Calls Governor’s Budget a Home Run – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By Todd R. Hansen
Lisette Estrella-Henderson begins her first four-year term as Solano County superintendent of schools next week with an agenda not that different from her first two years as the appointed official.
The veteran educator, who started her career about 32 years ago, said in a phone interview Friday that her office is working to keep students safe – and that goes beyond safe campuses – as well as prepare them for the changing work world.
She also has the task of signing off on all school district budgets, which includes keeping a close eye on the Vallejo City School District, which faces making $22 million in cuts.
Source: Schools chief works to keep students safe, teach work skills
Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark is proposing the consolidation of two schools and the relocation of another to help close a $22 million budget deficit.
In a letter to school district stakeholders Thursday, Clark said he will present his proposed solutions at parent and community meetings at the affected school sites in January.
Twenty years ago, the school district had a population of 20,000 students and 22 schools. School enrollment is now 12,000 yet 22 schools are still operating, Clark said in the letter.
Source: School Consolidation Proposed To Reduce $22 Million Deficit – SFGate
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Though still trying to meet a Dec. 15 deadline, Vallejo Unified School District staff will be asking the board to ask Solano County for an extension for turning in its required financial audit materials at Wednesday’s meeting.
The Education Code allows for extensions for completing an audit under the right circumstances, but the district needs to get the request to the county in time for the county to make the request to the State Controller’s Office and the California Department of Education by Dec. 15.
Trustees will also review and consider approving the district’s First Interim Report for 2018-19, as required by Assembly Bills 1200 and 2756. This is a mid-term financial report as of Oct. 31 that reflects the district’s current revenue and expenditure projections through June 30, 2019.
Source: Vallejo school district to wrestle with budget concerns at board meeting – Times-Herald
By Kristin Schumacher
For the fifth year in a row, funding for California’s subsidized child care and development system has increased. This system provides critical child care and early learning opportunities for a limited number of children from low- and moderate-income families, but state funding was cut dramatically during and after the Great Recession, while federal funding for subsidized child care remained relatively flat. This meant that fewer children and families received subsidized care than prior to the onset of the Great Recession. However, state policymakers have incrementally reinvested in these programs and services beginning with the 2014-15 state fiscal year, and bipartisan support for subsidized child care at the federal level has resulted in newly available federal funds, as well. Due to these investments, after adjusting for inflation, overall funding for California’s subsidized child care and development system in the 2018-19 fiscal year is $3.887 billion, 15% greater than in 2017-18 ($3.375 billion), and nearly even with funding levels in 2007-08, prior to the onset of the Great Recession (see chart).
Source: Dollars for Child Care and Preschool in 2018-19 Near Pre-Recession Levels With Boost From One-Time Funding – California Budget & Policy Center