California Educator

February 2013

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> L E G I S L AT I V E O U T L O O K Proposed new budget reflects voters��� will and boosts school spending by $4.5 billion CTA Board member Toby Boyd talks with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) during a visit to the Capitol Jan. 29. BY LEN FELDMAN Reflecting overwhelming voter approval of Proposition 30 in November, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a 2013-14 state budget that would increase funding for K-12 schools and community colleges by more than $4.5 billion, including $1.8 billion in deferred funds owed from earlier years. The proposed funding raises K-12 perstudent spending by $2,700. That means thousands of additional dollars for every classroom in the state. The plan provides $250 million in increases to each of the state���s higher education systems, California State University and the University of California. The governor���s budget proposal was unveiled on Jan. 10, the same day Education Week released its annual ranking of the states, which found California had dropped two places to 49th in per-student funding as a result of years of cuts. ���It���s good to see a state budget proposal that begins to turn the tide,��� says CTA President Dean E. Vogel. ���After years of drastic cuts, it is time our students had a chance to focus on learning instead of having to face larger class sizes, fewer course choices, and fewer teachers in the classroom.��� The recommended spending plan includes a proposal to change how funding is allocated to local school districts. The governor���s ���local control funding formula��� provides additional resources to schools with students with greater needs, such as English learners and students from low- 16 California Educator February 2013 income homes. The budget documents do The governor���s budget proposal is far not fully detail how the new formula would different from the draconian spending plan work, and educators are concerned about he would have had to propose if Proposihow it may affect funding for all schools tion 30 had failed. Without voter approval over time. of that revenue measure, schools would ���We commend the governor for idenhave faced an immediate $5 billion in cuts, tifying class size as a funding priority, including $1 billion in additional slashes to but the proposal still permits larger class the state���s higher education institutions and sizes��than the current legal maximum of��20 further increases in tuition costs. students,��� Vogel emphasizes. ���We want to ���Overall, thanks to California voters and ensure the state has adequate resources to Gov. Brown, the proposed budget is a good reduce class sizes to more teachable levfirst step toward restoring much-needed els, especially in funding to our public grades K-3, and schools and colleges,��� to implement the Vogel notes. ���We look new Common forward to working Core State Stanwith the governor and dards designed to all lawmakers on behalf improve the qualof California���s students ity of teaching and educators.��� and learning.��� The governor���s proOther concerns posal now goes to the center on the overLegislature for review. all structure of the The state constitution new system and the requires the state to nature and quality have a final budget in of the data that will place on June 30, the be used to calculate day before the start of appropriations. the new funding year. Educators want to For more inforGOVERNOR JERRY BROWN ensure that the state mation and to stay does not move to a new funding formula up-to-date on the budget and other legislabefore schools receive the funding they are tion, go to owed from prior years, when cuts pared more than $27 billion from public schools. I WOULD PREFER TO TRUST OUR TEACHERS WHO ARE IN THE CLASSROOM EACH DAY, DOING THE REAL WORK ��� LIGHTING FIRES IN YOUNG MINDS.

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