Stakes are high for May Revise; budget workshops provide answers

A statewide sense of uncertainty surrounds the coming revised May budget Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to release in the middle of next month. And the pressure on school administrators to get this one right could not be greater.

The governor called on districts in January to plan their budgets assuming his tax measure would win in November. But if Brown is wrong, and voters reject the tax hike, schools could face mid-year cuts of $4.8 billion and potentially little new flexibility to make quick spending reductions.

Meanwhile, there also are signs Brown's plan for restructuring school finances remains a high priority. The so-called weighted formula, if adopted as proposed, will bring sweeping change not only to the amount of money each district will have but also new flexibility in how they can use the money.

Throw in an assortment of odds and ends, such as deferrals, transportation funding, school improvement grants and open enrollment - and suddenly the 2012-13 budget could become as complex and challenging a task as schools have ever faced.

Arm yourself with the best, most accurate and comprehensive review of the governor's May revise by attending one of 11 workshops being put on by School Innovations & Advocacy's team of fiscal and policy experts.

Led by Kevin Gordon, one of the state's leading education advocates, and Jack O'Connell, former two-term state superintendent of schools, the SI&A lineup includes Gerry Shelton, former chief consultant to the state Assembly's education committee; Barrett Snider, veteran capital advocate; and newcomer Lee Angela Reid, formerly consultant on state and federal education issues in the Senate Office of Research.

SI&A once again will provide the workshops free of charge to district personnel in acknowledgement of the difficult times schools continue to face.

The events begin the week following release of the revised budget plan and will run through the end of the month at regional centers throughout the state.

To register for or to get further information about workshop times and locations, visit www.regonline.com/MayBudgetRevise

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