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.