Jerry Brown’s budget proposal for CA schools

AP Photo by Rich Pedroncelli

Today, the governor unveiled his first budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The plan would increase K-12 spending levels by $2.7 billion next year.

It would also, as expected, overhaul the funding formula for school districts.

Brown’s proposed funding formula would lift a number of spending restrictions that have long been in place for specific programs, instead granting school boards the latitude to allocate the funds where they see fit.

And here’s the biggest change: Brown’s proposal would give a base amount to school districts for each student — roughly $6,700 per pupil, on average. Then it would give districts an additional 35 percent to educate every child who is low-income, an English learner or in foster care, according to Nick Schweizer, of the Department of Finance.

Schools would receive about $400 additional dollars per student next year, on average, under this formula (including the supplemental funding), Schweizer said.

In a news call with reporters today, Schweizer said that districts with a high population of needy students — those with more than 50 percent, such as OUSD — would receive an additional 35 percent of the base funding amount for every child above the 50-percent threshold.

The plan would also shift adult education responsibilities to community colleges, and give the college system $300 million for that purpose. The summary acknowledges that many adult education programs in the K-12 system have been significantly diminished.

Some other key changes Brown proposed:

$1.8 billion to further reduce the amount of deferred payments from the state to school districts, bringing the total down to $5.6 billion. (These delayed payments, a state budget-balancing trick, once totaled $9.5 billion. It’s been a major financing headache for school districts.)

$48.5 million for projected charter school growth

$3.6 million for special education

$400.5 million (from Prop. 39 revenues) for energy efficiency projects in schools

$77 million increase in child nutrition money

There is much to digest in this proposal. If you want to read the (long) summary for yourself, you can find it here, starting on page 15. A list of budget changes starts on page 29.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • J.R.

    “In a news call with reporters today, Schweizer said that districts with a high population of needy students — those with more than 50 percent, such as OUSD — would receive an additional 35 percent of the base funding amount for every child above the 50-percent threshold”. Social engineering at its finest what a wonderful government to redistribute other peoples money. Can’t do your job as a parent? No problem, the government will do it for you.

  • Nextset

    So the democrats are placing a 35% premium on “poor” kids. That should help the struggling urban charters. It will also allow the urban ghetto districts to increase pay and hiring of administrators and their pet projects.

    We know from Kansas City it won’t make any difference in reading and writing levels or racial gaps. It will be fun spending all that money though. While the money lasts.

  • Juanster

    Great comment J.R.! I home school my six year old daughter in a rural community lacking the population demographics to properly ‘celebrate diversity.’ My daughter attended public Kindergarten here last year. After she received written notification of being awarded a ‘student of the month’ award, it was suddenly and unexpectedly given (transferred) to a girl with a Latino surname at the school ‘awards assembly.’ I told the principal that one of our motivations for going rural school was to escape this kind of ‘white student achiever child abuse.’ It was a BIG teaching moment for me with my daughter, one she’ll not soon forget (with my help). She’s now being home schooled, and her list of non-PC family playmates carefully grown. Only problem is, she’s doing so well academically that my conscience could soon start screaming at me to ‘give back’ (to my state education community) a per capita amount equal to the 35 percent extra needed for a needy minority learner. After all, my daughter had to give back – why shouldn’t I?

  • J.R.

    Progressive politicians have learned that most of their constituency either pays little in “real” taxes, or are so highly subsidized by the government that it’s a wash. Irregardless of what Jerry says, we are running out of other peoples money, and the takers are out-breeding the makers.

  • makeitgoaway

    If money doesn’t make a difference then why does Piedmont or Orinda spend the most? Stupid rich people? Besides more funds, think about all the extras parents in these districts provide such as music lessons, scouts, tutors, coaches, equipment, computers, and probably most important, structure…

    Money will never close the gap alone, but it might for a few, and is way cheaper than police, the justice system, poverty and prisons…Social Darwinism is so 19th Century.

  • Juanster

    Hey Makeitgoaway, you make a good point about all them extras parents in higher SES districts provide their kids, especially Scouting because, as we know, Scouts are taught to be:
    •Trustworthy, •Loyal, •Helpful, •Friendly, •Courteous,
    •Kind, •Obedient, •Cheerful, •Thrifty, •Brave, •Clean,
    •and Reverent.
    Scouting should become be an extracurricular push in the Oakland Public Schools, street gang culture clashes notwithstanding.

  • Jim Mordecai


    Another attribute of Scouting I just learned today is it is linked to NRA. The Bay Area Boy Scouts provides on its webpage advertised arms training sponsored by the NRA.

    Also, the front of today’s Tribune, dealing with gun control, had the headline “An Issue of Safety: Experts: Guns and good guys don’t mix” Beginning of the article referenced a 25 year old returnee from Afghanistan stating he learned to shoot as a Boy Scout.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nextset

    I am a NRA Member also.

    Gun training is typically offered through the Jr. Colleges. It used to be a fixture in some high schools. Perhaps we should consider gun training as well as driver’s training in the high schools here.

    With appropriate screening of course. Some teens are barred from/unfit for handling weapons.

    The last time I was at the gun range it was a weekend and there were numerous families with both teens and small children training the kiddies to shoot targets. And by small children I’m guessing five year old girls and boys shooting. They were all behaving very seriously.

    No blacks but me. Some Mexicans. Crowded large outdoor range.

    I contrast this with the shooting we see from the urban crowd , keeping it real…


    Which is why “certain people” lead the flying lead mortality tables.

    Thus the need for gun training in OUSD!

    Brave New World!

  • ousd parent

    According to education.com Piedmont Unified spends $12,015 per student while OUSD has only $9,733 so it sounds more like a small step toward parity. And of course that does not include the private fundraising, this year the goal is $1,000 per student in Piedmont. (And if money does not matter why do people pay 30K+ for private school).

  • Nextset

    I wonder how complete these numbers are. Are they only cash spent operating budgets (mainly payroll costs) or do they include depreciation of buildings and other such capitalization expending? Are the retirement liabilities fully expenses the same in both districts in these numbers, or not?

    It’s not difficult to cook the books. And Piedmont is a smaller district.

    Still the disparity between the two numbers is interesting and I’d love to know exactly where the spending differences are. I find it interesting that high value children are this cheap. And that OUSD is pouring so much money into people who (by and large) can’t read and write.

    It would appear that Oakland gets very little for it’s funds, and probably should not be spending so much. With the literacy scores OUSD turns out, the could cut a $1000 per year per kid and not have lower scores. In the alternative they should cut the “academic” budget and pay the $1000 or so per year to private schools to teach Driver’s Ed and Driver’s Training to all the students at OUSD.

    You know, so they could get a job later with a driver’s license. Ditto other vocational training privately outsourced.

    If you are going to be making a living with your hands or your back, you need to get to work early.

    Brave New World!

  • Observer

    It would be very difficult for Oakland to match a town like Piedmont on per pupil spending. The extra $2k + in Piedmont comes from parcel taxes approved by voters. Measure J passed in Oakland with flying colors, but that money is for facilities (supposed to be). The tax rate in Piedmont is double what it is in Oakland. Homeowners in Oakland are very unlikely to tax themselves this way. For one, all the schools in Piedmont are fairly equal in their needs. Here, a homeowner in Rockridge would essentially be agreeing to tax themselves to put more money into schools their children do not attend because OUSD will never loosen the purse strings for schools like Chabot or Hillcrest or any high performing school with a sizable middle class population. The board has A’s much said so on multiple occasions at multiple board meetings. Vicariously, the homeowners that live in the flatlands and down 580 are also not likely to hurt themselves financially.

    One other note about Piedmont is on top of that parcel tax revenue, they out-fundraise even the heavy jitters like Chabot and Crocker and the three Elementary schools pull their monies together. That’s another concept that will never fly here, nor should it. In actuality, parents should stop paying for basics (like paying with their own moneyfor teachers which is common now). Instead they should demand the districts spend the money they have on what it is intended and stop hiring consultants and funding more and more studies and expert analysts.

  • J.R.

    OUSD Parent,
    Would you care to post a link to those numbers? I checked the state numbers for OUSD($10,583)here:

    and a different site


    both show OUSD above $10,000 per child(which is well above the state average everyone moans about.

    From this article, its seems like Alameda and Fremont should be the ones complaining about being underfunded.



  • Juanster

    Jim, Thanks for that observant connection between the boy scouts and the NRA, an obvious source of counter gang banger weapons training for the trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean,and reverent.

    An acquaintance living a top the Oakland hills has a neighbor who recently got raped in her back yard after dark by a visitor from down flat yonder. Her husband responded by going for his cell phone holster and firing off a call to the Oakland cops – not the kind of ‘bravery’ one might expect of an NRA trained boy scout.

    “On my honor I will do my best to shoot the bastard trying to rape my wife between the eyes…” unless Obama says I can’t???


  • Jim Mordecai


    Last year Oakland Public Schools spent 1.2 million on Learning for 14 Learning for Life consultant contracts. Learning for Life is an affiliate of Boys Scouts of America.

    However, the money spent on these contracts did not include training by the NRA.

    Learning for Life has a legal fire wall between itself and its Boy Scouts of America affiliate so it can work with public schools and avoid blow-back because of Scout politices that discriminate against gays and non-religious students and personnel.

    Learning for Life qualities as organization that can provide after school services and share in Title I funding for schools with poverty enrollment defined as students eligible for Federal free and reduced lunch program.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Juanstaer

    Thanks Jim, I just looked and learned that, “Learning for Life programs (LFL) emphasize the need to reinforce self-esteem and recognize student achievement and participation through recognition programs.”

    I’ll bet that 1.2 million spent on LFL made the district feel like a million bucks! I hope it generated a million dollars worth of student self esteem, after administrative costs of course. I guess if ya feel good enough about yourself you’re gonna feel better about others and less inclined to fire back, so to speak.

    I can see why LFL contracts do not include NRA training, because arms are for self etc. hugs not for self defense. Given BSA intolerance for intolerable BS it’s good that the BSA has a fire wall to protect it from gay etc. blow back.

    It’s informative to know that LFL qualifies as an after school service provider, sharing in Title I funding and that mythical ‘free lunch.’ It’s hard to have positive self esteem on an empty stomach, one of the reasons I’m not looking forward to to what happens in urbia when EBT cards stop feeding the innards of the inner cities during a full blown economic collapse! I dare say it would be great having an NRA trained boy scout in the house, or back seat, on that day! But I digress.

    In do believe the LFL/BSA self esteem/self defense firewall (segregation) model should be an established feature of the blue state/RED STATE paradigm.