ACSA Update on Legislature’s Actions on
2017-18 State Budget
May 23, 2017
Greetings from Sacramento. This is ACSA’s brief update on the developments of the 2017-18 state budget since there has been a lot of activity over the past two weeks.
The Assembly and Senate budget committees have begun deliberations on the Governor’s May Revision. You can download a chart highlighting the key differences between the Assembly and Senate approved budget proposals and how they compare to the May Revision. There are many more details in the May Revision that are not included on this chart to keep it focused on the most important items. The chart shows that both houses propose the use of one-time and ongoing Proposition 98 funding to pay for legislative proposals introduced in bills earlier this year to earmark money for particular purposes.
Proposition 98 Minimum Guarantee: Both houses propose to fund Proposition 98 close to the May Revise amount of $74.6 billion in 2017-18. When it comes to how to spend this Proposition 98 funding, both houses have different legislative priorities. Unfortunately, it looks like both houses will likely agree with the Governor in waiving the Proposition 98 3B Supplemental Payment from 2016-17 through 2020-21, thus reducing the funding for Proposition 98 in the out-years by close to an estimated $1.2 billion. The Brown Administration has indicated this amount would be repaid to schools through future Maintenance Factor payments.
LCFF and One-Time Funds: The Assembly sides with the Governor on providing $1.4 billion for LCFF, whereas the Senate reduces that amount to $1.2 billion in order to fund other ongoing priorities. While both houses reduce the $1 billion in one-time discretionary block grants to pay for legislative priorities, both houses reject the Governor’s proposed delay of disbursements of funds and instead propose to appropriate the funds in 2017-18. If the Legislature has their way in releasing the funds in the next fiscal year, this will be a trade-off since the per ADA amounts may end up being lower.
Legislative Priorities for One-Time Funds: The Assembly proposes to provide $20 million in one-time funding for County Offices of Education to continuing supporting districts with the LCAP work, a funding appropriation the Education Coalition has been supporting since the beginning of this year. The Assembly is also proposing to fund many one-time priorities including $50,000 for the San Joaquin County Office of Education to develop an Application for the California School Dashboard and $10 million for grants to LEAs to support refugee students.
Teacher Workforce and School Leadership Proposals: In the May Revise, the Administration proposed using $11 million in Federal Title II funds for a one-year competitive grant program to help LEAs attract and support teachers, principals and other school leaders. In addition to approving this proposal, both houses are also proposing to use one-time funds for more than half a dozen teacher recruitment and professional development related efforts including a three-year teacher residency program, while the Senate is proposing $16 million in one-time funds to provide professional development and resources to educators on the new history social science and health frameworks over the next three years.
K-12 Mandate Block Grant: ACSA is pleased to see the Senate is proposing to add a COLA for the K-12 Mandate Block Grant in an ongoing basis starting in 2017-18, as this is an issue for which we have been advocating since earlier this year. The $28 per K-8 student and $56 per 9-12 student has not been increased since the block grant was established in 2012, yet the Senate may face resistance from the Governor in agreeing to a COLA as it would be perceived to create a cost pressure on Proposition 98.
Early Childhood Education Proposals: ACSA has been actively supporting the Governor’s early childhood education proposals to provide administrative efficiencies for early education providers and to give local educational agencies the option to blend State Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten programs. The Assembly and Senate have approved part of the proposal and other issues remain open. Both houses approved policies to allow for providers to use electronic applications for families applying for subsidized child care; align the state’s definition of homelessness with the federal McKinney-Vento Act for purposes of child care eligibility; allow children with exceptional needs whose families exceed income eligibility requirements to access part-day State Preschool, if all other eligible children have been served; and allow for LEAs to align program minutes for State Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten at the same or different school sites.
The Assembly approved the Governor’s proposed trailer bill language to allow for State Preschool Programs to have a minimum of one adult for every 12 children (rather than the 1:8 ratio currently required) if the lead teacher has a multiple subject teaching credential and has met the same requirements of a TK teachers, but modified this proposal to only apply for increased ratios for classrooms with four-year-olds, not three-year-olds. The Senate rejected this proposal. Another key issue that the Senate approved to exempt LEAs from meeting the Title 22 health and safety regulations starting in 2018-19, while the Assembly proposed allowing LEAs to be waived from the initial inspection required by the Department of Social Services in order to expedite the process for opening new State Preschool Programs. It is also welcomed news that both houses are recommending providing $20 million in ongoing General Fund to update the state’s outdated income eligibility requirements for subsidized child care and preschool to 70 percent of the most recent State Median Income (SMI), and to allow continuous 12-month eligibility for families prior to having their eligibility re-determined. If adopted, this action will be a good outcome for the field as it will help address the concerns with the increased minimum wage that has affected families’ ability to quality for the State Preschool program. The Brown Administration has resisted updating the SMI as it is seen as a cost pressure to the General Fund, so the outcome of these actions are yet to be determined.
Both houses will wrap up their budget actions this week, and it is anticipated a Budget Conference Committee comprised of members of both houses will convene next week to deliberate on fiscal and policy issues where there are disagreements between each version or with the May Revise.
Lastly, in addition to the chart highlighting the key aspects of the budget proposals, we are also providing you with two letters highlighting ACSA’s budget priorities along with other organizations. ACSA will be submitting our own letter with additional details in the coming week to express our positions on the proposals by both houses.
Please do not hesitate to contact Martha Alvarez, ACSA Legislative Advocate, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.