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California 2014-15 Budget Highlights for Education

06.19.2014 | EdSource | John C. Osborn

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  • Proposition 98: $60.8 billion for K-12 schools and community colleges in 2014-15 through Proposition 98, the voter-approved school funding guarantee; $53.6 billion of that will go to K-12 districts. This will be $3.6 billion more than appropriated for them in 2013-14.
  • Local Control Funding Formula: $4.75 billion more than districts received this year. Gov. Brown had projected it would take seven years to fully fund the formula. The additional money for 2014-15, the second year implementing the formula, will bring districts more than one-third of the way there.
  • Common Core: The Legislative designated $400 million to help implement the new standards in math and English language arts, although districts would be able to use the money however they want. This differs from the $1.25 billion for Common Core this year, which had to be spent on materials, technology and teacher training related to the standards.
  • Career Technical Education: An additional $250 million in competitive one-time grants for individual and multiple districts that build partnerships with community colleges and businesses.
  • Early Childhood Education: Transitional kindergarten will remain as is, but early education programs will get $264 million more, with $155 million to enable 11,500 additional low-income children to attend preschool. Parent fees for part-time preschool programs will be eliminated.
  • CalSTRS: Brown proposed and lawmakers agreed to a 32-year plan to eliminate the $74 billion unfunded liability for teachers’ and administrators’ pensions. Districts eventually will pay about 70 percent of the $5.35 billion in extra annual costs, with the state contributing 20 percent and teachers about 10 percent. Districts’ increases will ramp up over seven years; next year’s first installment will be $175 million.
  • Late payments: Late payments of state money, known as deferrals, created a hardship for many districts and grew to $9 billion during the recession. Brown has made wiping out this obligation a priority.After next year $500 million in deferrals will remain, and Brown has made eliminating what’s left the top priority if state revenues run higher than projected.

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