Gov. Brown’s proposed budget means ‘modest’ funding boosts for schools

Facing a projected $2 billion budget deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday smaller-than-expected funding increases for public schools in the state under his proposed budget for next fiscal year.

The governor said he would budget $73.5 billion for kindergarten through 12th grade schools as well as community colleges in the state in the 2017-18 fiscal year, a modest increase from the $71.9 billion budgeted in the current fiscal year under Proposition 98.

In a letter to the state legislature, the governor called the budget for next year the “most difficult” since 2012.

“While rolling back some planned spending increases, my proposed budget protects our most important achievements—more money for education, an earned income tax credit for working families, the rising minimum wage, the extension of health care to millions, and the pay down of our long‑term liabilities,” Brown wrote.

The budget includes an increase in funding for the Local Control Funding Formula, which allocates money for school districts across the state. The San Francisco Unified School District has been preparing for less funding from the LCFF in the coming years as the state finishes implementing the formula by 2020.

SFUSD Chief Financial Officer Reeta Madhavan said the “slight increase” of $331 per student under the LCFF compared to this fiscal year is “encouraging.” The state plans to spend $10,910 per pupil.

“We are happy to see that the the governor’s new budget proposal maintains the state’s core fiscal achievements, which includes a continued commitment to adequately fund the implementation of the [LCFF],” Madhavan said in a statement.

However, Board of Education President Matt Haney was more critical of the proposed budget, claiming that the funding increases are “much smaller” than needed to serve students and pay staff a living wage.

“We can’t keep trying to educate our kids on the cheap. It’s shameful,” Haney said in a text message. “At this rate, California will continue to have one of the lowest rates of per pupil funding and be the last in the nation in student-to-teacher ratios.”

While still critical of the proposed budget, California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt said that voters spared education funding and the LCFF from potential budget cuts by passing Proposition 55 in November.

“The intent of the voters was that Prop. 55 would allow us to continue to increase our investments in public education,” Pechthalt said in a statement. “This budget proposal does that, but at a very modest level.”

The SFUSD said it will continue to review the budget and its impact on the school district over the next several months as it crafts the district budget for next fiscal year.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said in a statement that the proposed budget “is good news for community college students.”

Michael Barba
Published by
Michael Barba

Recent Posts

Observation Post at the Presidio is demolished

Officials with the Presidio Trust and Golden Gate National Recreation Area gathered along with members of the public to observe…

13 mins ago

BART board approves Ford GoBike dock near 24th Street station, critics say bikeshare gentrifies neighborhood

BART’s newest Ford GoBike station is bound for 24th Street Mission BART Station despite fiery opposition, as the Mission community…

27 mins ago

Man, 52, killed at night in Mid-Market

A 52-year-old man was killed in the Mid-Market area on Wednesday night, according to police. Police released few details in…

3 hours ago

Voter data shows clean sweep for winning candidates

OK San Francisco, a tumultuous local election is a week past now, but indulge me some voting wonkery-nerdery just a…

11 hours ago

Impact of onsite health clinics on workers’ rights

This weeks question comes from Tara S. from Fremont, who writes: Q: I follow your column regularly and took particular…

11 hours ago

As contract negotiations drag out, Marriott workers struggle to pay bills

Five days each week, Larrilou Carumba leads dozens of her unionized co-workers in a march to the rhythm of makeshift…

11 hours ago