This week California Governor Jerry Brown presented his May Revision, which revises his January budget proposal. It is forecast that the state’s revenues will come in at $2.4 billion more than earlier anticipated. This is positive news for charter school education in California. The major pieces of his May Revision are:
Creation of a larger state rainy day fund (which already has reached agreement with the legislature)
A Proposition 98 reserve
Paying off the deficit in the State Teacher’s Retirement Fund
Expansion of the state’s Medi-Cal program
The May Revise includes total funding of $75.9 billion ($45.1 billion General Fund and $30.8 billion other funds) for all K-12 programs. Specifically, the revise continues the changes outlined in the Governor’s January budget proposal by maintaining the additional $4.5 billion proposed for implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), creation of a Proposition 98 reserve and focusing on eliminating inter-year deferrals. He is also proposing to create a K-12 High Speed Network to study Internet connectivity and infrastructure and allocate grant funding to those school districts with the greatest need. This will aid in meeting technology requirements associated with Common Core implementation and adaptive testing. The revise contains $26.7 million for this program. It also proposes a fix for an issue that some schools participating in Provision 2 and 3 of the National Schools Lunch Program are having with the implementation of LCFF. Additionally, there is good news for charter schools with independent study programs as the Governor modifies his January proposal by:
Eliminating the requirement that teachers and students meet weekly to assess if a student is making satisfactory grades
Provides schools the opportunity to offer site-based blended learning, utilizing a universal learning agreement for all students enrolled in the same course or courses
Funds students enrolled in course-based indpendent study programs on the basis of average daily attendance, and not enrollment, and applying the statewide excused absence rate to average daily attendance claimed by local education agencies
To review the entire May Revision go to www.dof.ca.gov and click the link for 2014-2015 May Revision. We’ll be posting additional updates and information on the Governor’s revision and additional budget and legislative information as it becomes available, so check back or subscribe to our blog for ongoing posts on this topic and others relevant to charter schools.
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