Brown’s budget gives schools record Prop. 98 funding

Brown’s budget gives schools record Prop. 98 funding

(Calif.) Gov. Jerry Brown’s final spending plan would provide a stunning $78.3 billion to the Proposition 98 funding guarantee, but because of a late surge in taxes paid at the end of the year and onward into January, the numbers might even go higher.

Ever cautious of an economic downturn, Brown proposed setting aside $5.1 billion into the state’s reserve account, brining the Rainy Day Fund to $13.5 billion.

Brown also noted that the $35 billion “wall of debt” he inherited in 2011, has been cut to just $6 billion.

“California has faced ten recessions since World War II and we must prepare for the eleventh. Yes, we have had some very good years and program spending has increased steadily,” said Brown in his budget letter to the Legislature. “Let’s not blow it now.”

While Brown can take a lot of credit for holding down spending during the past seven years, there will likely be new pressure to fund social welfare programs that the Legislature’s Democratic majority favors.

Expectations that the flood of tax dollars from profit taking on Wall Street will be showing up in Sacramento may finally be realized after investors held off in anticipation of a tax deal between Congress and the White House. Revenues in December ran $4 billion ahead of projections for the month.

Key education elements:

  • $3 billion investment to fully implement the LCFF two years earlier than originally projected;
  • $10 million ongoing Proposition 98 General Fund for Special Education Local Plan Areas to work with county offices of education to provide technical assistance to local educational agencies to improve student outcomes as part of the statewide system of support;
  • $248 million to fund another year of career technical education under the Strong Workforce Program;
  • $1.8 billion to pay off mandate backlog claims;
  • $125 million Proposition 98 General Fund and $42.2 million federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds on a one-time basis for competitive grants to expand inclusive care and education settings for children up to 5 years old and improve school readiness and long-term academic outcomes for low-income children and children with exceptional needs;
  • $50 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to support locally sponsored, one-year intensive, mentored, clinical teacher preparation programs aimed at preparing and retaining special education teachers; and
  • $50 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to provide one-time competitive grants to local educational agencies to develop and implement new, or expand existing, locally identified solutions that address a local need for special education teachers.

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