Brown Does Not Budge on Education Funding Formula After Budget Revise

Governor Jerry Brown made clear his firm stance on a new education funding formula by saying he’ll “fight any effort to dilute the bill.” What Brown is referring to is the local control funding formula (LCFF). His revised budget shows that he has kept his word, so far.

After he announced the May revision to the 2013-2014 budget proposal on Tuesday, the summary was made available online. With regards to LCFF, the proposal stated:

“The May Revision reflects the Administration’s commitment to establishing a just funding system for school districts by maintaining the same targeted funding levels for base grants, supplemental funding, and concentration grants as proposed in the Governor’s Budget.”

LCFF would provide base grants, guaranteed per-pupil funding, for all school districts. It would then calculate additional funding for low-income and English learning students. The supplemental grant takes 35 percent of the base grant and multiplies that number by the percentage of disadvantaged students in a district.

Concentration grants have been more contentious. An additional 35 percent of the base grant is given for the amount of disadvantaged students over 50 percent of a district’s student population.

To illustrate examples and clear confusion of how the education funding formula would work, the following chart was provided in the revision:

May Revise Reflects No Change in New Education Funding Formula in CA.30 AM copy 2
Credit: California Department of Finance

Senate Bill 69 aims to use concentration grant money to instead raise the base grant level of funding. SB 69 is set for a hearing on May 20 in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Gov. Brown claims that this proposal helps solve the problem of inequitable access to educational resources for California schools. Do you think the state will benefit from Brown’s proposal, or is the Senate Democrats’ alternative a more equitable approach?

(Read and download Governor Brown’s May revision of the 2013-2014 state budget proposal here.)