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State Schools Chief Lauds Governor's Proposed Budget

12 January 2018

Now the Local Control Funding Formula is again in the news with a leak about the state budget that Brown will release Wednesday that notes the formula will be fully funded this budget, two years ahead of schedule.

California has faced 10 recessions since World War Two, and the state must prepare for the 11th, Brown said.

"My Senate Republican colleagues and I are advocating for a pragmatic "2-2-2" framework that ensures the surplus will not be squandered on spending we can not afford", Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) said in a statement. "Let's not blow it now".

Brown's budget would also send money to local governments with $8 billion in flexible funding to help counties as they continue to deal with the shift that began in 2011 of non-violent offenders from state prison to county jails.

In his budget plan for 2018-19 - his final one as governor - Brown is moving beyond a traditional formula that funds colleges based primarily on how many students they enroll.

One of the biggest goals involves filling the Rainy Day Fund with a $3.5 billion supplemental payment plus a constitutionally required transfer.

"I thank the governor for maintaining the three-year commitment to increasing access and funding for early childhood education opportunities, including providing another almost 3,000 preschool slots, and for proposing a $167 million competitive grant for inclusive early education and care".

His budget also plans for a three-percent funding boost to the UC and CSU education systems and, with no tuition increases this year, tuition costs, adjusted for inflation, to come in below 2011-12 levels. Community colleges receive about 11 percent of the total, with K-12 schools getting most of the remainder. Brown's Department of Finance projects Prop. 98 will be funded $78.3 billion in 2018-19, an increase of $4.6 billion over what the Legislature appropriated for the current year. The bulk of the money, raising $6 billion to $9 billion per year, went to K-12 schools and community colleges. The proposed budget includes $120 million for a new online community college, which will be competency based and issue short-term credentials. The online college would provide a new affordable pathway to higher wages through credentials for those who don't now access the California community college system.

For the sixteenth time in his four terms as governor, Jerry Brown proposed a balanced budget by January 10.

The budget document says the new formula seeks "to improve the incentives for districts to focus on improving student success while providing districts with local flexibility to do so".

The budget proposal also earmarks $1.5 million to encourage new ways of delivering books to Californians including use of online sellers, like Amazon, and digitally linking the catalogs of multiple libraries to offer Californians easy at-home access to far more information than what sits on the shelves of their community library. It would invest $5 million to help libraries deliver services faster by connecting to the same high-speed broadband network as the University of California, the state university system, community colleges, and public schools. Over the same time period, funding for state financial aid that primarily supports low-income and first-generation students has increased by $623 million to a total of $2.3 billion. But many Republicans hope voters will overturn the tax and fee hikes, part of last year's transportation funding law, in this November's election - the same election in which voters will pick Brown's successor. However, that may not be enough to avoid tuition increases that both universities are considering even though Brown wants to keep tuition unchanged.

Beyond those and a few other hand-picked spending increases, Brown wants to set aside almost all of his projected $6 billion surplus.

State Schools Chief Lauds Governor's Proposed Budget