Education Coalition Issues Statement of Principles on State
The Education Coalition, a statewide group
whose members, including CTA, represent more than one million parents,
educators, principals, students, school employees, administrators, and school
board members, has released a statement of principles for the 2013-14 state
budget proposal. After five years of cuts, the Coalition agrees it's time for
the state to begin restoring funds to public education's base budgets so that
schools can get "back on the path of providing high quality education services
to our students."
In regard to the governor's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the
Coalition is strongly urging the governor and lawmakers to consider the
following principles as they make decisions about the 2013-14 spending
1. 1. The long-term goal is to move
California into the top 10 states in per-pupil funding.
2. 2. No school district or county office
of education should experience any cuts.
3. 3. The budget should provide
greater-needs students more resources for their education.
4. 4. Numerous logistical and policy
challenges, including limited time to reconfigure data and student testing
systems, would make it difficult for some school districts to implement fully
the LCFF in 2013-14.
5. 5. The LCFF must include sufficient
transparency and accountability provisions.
6. 6. Lawmakers should examine closely
the allocations local education entities would receive under LCFF and under a
scenario with LCFF.
The Coalition also urges lawmakers to give proposed policy changes that are
part of the governor's LCFF budget plan the full policy hearings that
major changes normally receive. Such policy hearings provide an opportunity for
all interested parties to express their views and suggest changes where
appropriate, the Coalition reports.
The LCFF moves toward a system that provides a base grant to all districts
tied to average daily attendance and then adjusts allocations to account for
differential expenses between grades. It also provides additional money for
English learners, low-income students and foster kids.
In mid-May, the governor will release his May Revision, an updated spending plan based on
newer estimates of state revenues. The state constitution requires lawmakers
to send the governor a final budget by June 15. The governor has until June 30
to sign the measure into law. The spending plan takes effect on July 1, the
start of the next fiscal year.
Assembly Budget Subcommittee Urges Rejection of Governor's Adult
Members of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education on
March 19 recommended that lawmakers reject the governor's proposal to move
Adult Education programs to the community colleges. While the panelists support
increasing efficiency, they believe the governor's proposal as presented is
Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), who chairs the subcommittee, was
among panel members who expressed grave concerns that the proposal could
effectively end adult education services.
During the hearing, Assembly members said the proposed budget's
appropriations for the community colleges to take over the leading role in
adult education would not adequately fund the program. It was also noted that
the governor's proposal does not provide a solid blueprint for accountability
for the community colleges' governance of the program.
Among other concerns raised in testimony provided by a long line of
opponents is that in coming years, the adult education system will be vital to
providing the state's immigrant population with the classes necessary to master
English and citizenship skills, as well as vital to training and retraining the
Assembly Member Bonilla stressed that eliminating adult education and laying off
teachers is not where the governor's proposal should go.
Legislature Set to Work to Meet Measure Deadlines When Lawmakers
Return on April 1
The Legislature is in recess this week. When lawmakers return on Monday,
they will be working against deadlines for moving various kinds of measures.
The first deadline is May 3, when policy committees (such as Assembly Education and Senate Labor and Industrial Relations) must
approve and send to fiscal committees (such as Assembly Appropriations and its Senate
counterpart, Senate Appropriations) bills that have
significant costs attached to them.
That May 3 deadline has resulted in a large number of bills being
considered in policy committees as early as April 3.