Governor’s budget proposal has high school district smiling

By From page B1 | February 07, 2014

El Dorado Union High School District’s Board of Trustees received some good news about the budget at the Jan. 28 meeting. If Gov. Brown’s proposed 2014-2015  state budget is approved, schools could receive $4.5 billon in the Local Control Funding Formula, boosting the average annual increase for K-12 school districts by 10.9 percent or $751 per student.

“This was very welcome news, “said Baldev Johal, associate superintendent of Business Services for EDUHSD. ” After several years of taking ‘gloom and doom’ scenarios to the board after the governor’s budget proposal comes out, this was welcome, indeed.”

Due to an improving economy and Proposition 30, Gov. Brown is proposing $10 billion for education, the biggest funding increase since 2000-2001. Half of the funds are proposed to go toward paying down debt; the rest is new money for education.

The new education funding plan, Local Control Funding Formula, aims to close the funding gap for school districts throughout the state over a period of eight years, said Johal. “The average increase per student is calculated to be $751, but that means one district might receive $1,000 per student (based on the number of English learners, foster care and Free and Reduced Price Meal Program students enrolled) and another district might receive $500. We will likely be on the lower end, towards $500.”

State revenues are predicted to continue to increase for the next five years.

The fly in the ointment is the compressed timeline for a Local Control and Accountability Plan, which all school districts must have by July 1 in order to demonstrate spending accountability based on local needs.

“The state Board of Education only just now adopted the spending regulations for the LCAP and the Board of Trustees must approve an LCAP  before it can adopt a budget,” said Johal. School boards must adopt  budgets by the end of June. Meetings to pull stakeholders together, disseminate data, receive stakeholder input, develop an LCAP,  and approve it must occur before that time.

“It gives us a lot to do and very little time to get it done, but everyone is in the same boat,” said Johal. “One good thing is that the eight priorities the state Board of Education are requiring are things our district has been working on for the past two years as part of our ‘Each kid, every day’ strategic planning process.”

“We can take the work we’ve already done and put it into the state regulations and move quickly to the next step. We developed intervention plans as mechanisms to serve every kid, every day and they are just good practices that every school district should follow.”

Next year, Johal said, “We can use the entire year to develop our accountability plan, so it will be easier.”

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.

Wendy Schultz

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