Governor Brown proposed his 2013-14 state budget on January 10, 2013. It reflects cautious optimism, recognizing that the state’s economy is beginning to slowly recover. The passage of Proposition 30 in November has prevented the state from making even larger budget reductions.
Proposition 98 is a provision in the state Constitution that requires a minimum funding level for K-12 schools and community colleges. The Proposed State Budget projects that the minimum guarantee will grow to $56.2 billion, a $2.7 billion increase.
School Finance Reform
The Governor has reintroduced his proposal to significantly reform the state school funding formula. It is called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and would replace the current Revenue Limit distribution formula. It proposes to shift resources to school districts with high populations of English Learners (EL) and low-income students. Since San Juan Unified School District has fewer EL and low-income students compared to other state school districts, it will receive fewer additional dollars from the new formula than it would receive from the current funding model.
The District will share more specific detail regarding the effects of the new formula as it becomes available.
Another significant change proposed by the Governor is to shift funding and educational responsibility for Adult Education programs away from K-12 school districts and to community colleges. The proposed state budget allocates a new $300 million block grant for this purpose.
The District receives some $35 million from federal sources that is in jeopardy of being reduced due to a federal budget shortfall. These automatic trigger cuts, referred to in Washington DC as “sequestration”, were scheduled to be implemented on January 1, 2013, but recent congressional actions have delayed the cuts until March 1. Absent further action, future cuts are expected to be approximately 8.2%. This would represent a reduction of about $2.7 million for San Juan.
Responsible Fiscal Stewardship
San Juan continues to face budget challenges, primarily due to inflationary operating costs, rising health benefit premiums, employee contract obligations, and declining student enrollment. The most recent budget revision projects a $14 million deficit for 2013-14. However, this will likely improve when the state budget is adopted, depending on the details of the education funding formula. The District will continue to work collaboratively and creatively with employees and the community to build a sustainable budget that supports the strategic plan and keeps our educational promise to all students.