The 2018-19 State Budget was approved by the Legislature on Thursday, June 14, along with the first batch of trailer bills. More budget trailer bills will be signed next week, and we will report those changes when they become available. The following is a highlight of what was included, and of interest to the school facilities community.
The 2018-19 State Budget provides increased support for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and one-time funding for discretionary purposes. For the school facilities community, this is an opportunity to fund critical maintenance and school safety priorities by participating in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and highlighting on-going local capital needs, and using one-time funds for one-time needs.
- $3.67 billion in on-going funding for the Local Control Funding Formula, which is $407 million above what the Governor proposed in the May Revision and available to assist school districts meet the Good Repair Standard under Priority 1 of the LCAP’s eight state priorities.
- $1 billion one-time funding allocated on a per-pupil basis (approximately $160 more per pupil), which can also be used to assist school districts meet the Good Repair Standard under Priority 1 of the LCAP’s eight state priorities.
- Adopts legislative intent to enact legislation to redesign the LCAP template and funding to improve the interface for the California School Dashboard based on stakeholder input. This is an opportunity for CASH and the CASH Maintenance Network to ensure the new template adequately highlights achieving the Good Repair Standard as an integral part of the process.
Proposition 51 Implementation
CASH and other school organizations and individual districts urged the Conference Committee to approve $3 billion. Prior to the Conference Committee, the Legislature agreed to $1.5 billion to fund Proposition 51 bond applications each year from 2018-19 through 2021-22, and requires the State Allocation Board (SAB) to encumber the funds by June 30, 2023. After negotiations with Governor Brown, the Legislature reduced funding back down to the original budget proposal of only $640 million to address the already $3.8 billion backlog.
Clean-Up: Local Ballot Language Legislation
CASH, with the help of a large coalition of public agencies and labor has led the effort to seek a resolution to AB 195, which was chaptered into law in 2017. AB 195 makes significant changes to the ballot label requirements for local bond measures, requiring information about the cost and duration of the bond to be placed in the 75-word ballot label. This information is misleading and confusing to voters and will push many bond measures below the threshold needed for passage. CASH supports SB 863, a budget trailer bill that provides a two-year suspension to the provisions of AB 195 for local bonds, allowing time for the issue to be addressed in the regular legislative process while preserving the opportunity for public agencies to place bonds on the November 2018 ballot. It is our understanding that the Legislature will only bring it up for a vote if the Governor indicates his willingness to sign it.
School Facility Grants for Full Day Kindergarten Programs
$100 million one-time non-Proposition 98 General Fund for school facility grants for full-day Kindergarten programs. The concept was approved, but the details remain to be worked out.
$150 million in on-going Proposition 98 funding for Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program administered by the Department of Education (2:1 match requirement), and $150 million in on-going Proposition 98 funding for the Governor’s proposed K-12 Career Technical E
ducation (CTE) program administered through the community college Strong Workforce Program. CASH will focus on increasing approved pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.
Charter School Facility Grant Program
Includes an on-going increase of $24.8 million in Proposition 98 funding in 2018-19 and a one-time increase of $21 million in 2017-18 to fund estimated program participation. Trailer bill language 1) Eliminates automatic backfill language, 2) Prioritizes lease costs when program is oversubscribed, 3) Caps growth in lease costs at the K-14 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and 4) Requires independent appraisals for new applicants.
Early Childhood Education and Programs
Includes new funding for various programs to support and encourage expansion of early childhood education:
- Creates 13,407 new Alternative Payment slots, of which 11,307 are available until June 2022. These slots are funded with $19 million on-going General Fund ($15.8) million in 2018-19) and a total of $409.2 million limited term Federal Funds.
- Includes $64.4 million General Fund and $59.2 million Proposition 98 funding to reflect rate increases and 2,959 new full day preschool slots agreed to in 2016.
Unlike kindergarten, no facility funds were included to provide these new seats.
The Return of Budget Member Requests
In the past, the state budget deliberation process included the opportunity for members of the Legislature to request funding for specific local projects of all kinds according to their priorities. In the more familiar federal process, member requests are referred to as “ear marks” (i.e. “pork”). For many reasons this process went away and has not been a part of the budget deliberation process for over a decade, but it appears to have returned this year. Two multi-million dollar member requests for school facility improvement projects were approved in the 2018-19 State Budget, which is something for school districts to contemplate in future state budget deliberations.
~ Ian Padilla, Legislative Advocate