Described as “the most stable fiscal footing in well over a decade,” by Governor Jerry Brown, the May revision of the state’s 2013-14 budget has been released, maintaining a $1.1 billion reserve.
Since Brown first introduced his proposed spending plan in January, revenues have exceeded projections about $4.5 billion.
“The governor did recognize those new revenues during the May revise,” said Turlock Unified School District’s Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services Lori Decker. “But he recognized them primarily only in the 2012-13. The governor chose to allocate almost all of the revue as one time funds.”
TUSD will receive $2.2 million in ADA, equivalent to $170 per student. The funds must be spent over a two year period and be used for professional development, instructional materials, or technology.
“In addition, the district must develop a spending plan that must go to the board for approval following a public hearing of the plan,” said Decker.
The biggest surprise of the revise for the TUSD was the conservative estimate on the 2013-14 state revenues.
“The governor did not carry forward the increase of revenues in the current year into the budget year,” said Decker. "As a result, prop 98 guarantee drops about $1.8 billion in the governor’s budget.”
Brown's education funding also comes with massive reform in how that money is distributed. Schools would still be paid based on attendance, but also on the proportion of English learners, foster children and low-income students in each district. Districts with more than half of their student population classified as low-income, as measured by free or reduced price lunch participants, would receive additional funds.
“In his finance reform, the governor continues to propose the complete elimination of revenue limit in most categorical funding sources we have had in place for decades,” said Decker. “The biggest change in the May revise is that they’re new expenditure parameters that are quite strict and the local control I feel now is becoming more of a state control funding because there are many restrictions put on funding in several different areas.”
In the revised budget, the governor’s proposal to move adult education away from school districts and to community colleges is postponed for the next two years. During the two-year period the district and community colleges are expected to collaborate on a regional adult education consortium.
“There will be $30 million in the next budget year for planning and implementation grounds for those consortiums and in 2015-16 there will be $500 million to fund those consortiums. This is still a proposal,” Decker.
The state budget is expected to be adopted on June 15. TUSD’s budget adoption is scheduled for the June 11 board meeting.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the political process in the Assembly and Senate plays out during the next month,” said Decker.