Monday, January 17, 2011

Jerry Brown's Budget and its Effect on K-12 Education

It's been a week since Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed budget for California. For analysis on the effect on K-12 education see the Association of California School Administrators, School Services of California, and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. For the next several weeks, this post will be updated with new analysis as it becomes available.

The big question is whether CA voters will extend the temporary tax increases imposed in 2009. Voters already said 'no' to the additional two year extension proposal in 2009, and it is not certain by any means voters want a five year extension.

Governor Brown declines to say what additional cuts to the budget would occur if the $9 billion in annual tax revenues are not approved. Estimates for the impact to Education range from $2 to $4 billion. This political posturing immediately enjoins public education unions and organizations to carry Jerry Brown's water for the June special election. SacBee columnist Dan Walters calls the California Teacher's Association "The elephant in the budget room."

Locally, PUSD reports the CA budget proposal maintains this year's funding (removing the fear of a mid-year cut) and extends categorical and CSR flexibilities for two more years giving PUSD additional options for expense control. If the attempt to raise/extend the state taxes in June fails, Assistant Superintendent Luz Cazares roughly estimates the impact to be $5.6 million. PUSD has many unused options/tools available to continue to control and reduce expenses.

Not surprisingly, teachers union president Trevor Knaggs ended his remarks at the January 11th PUSD school board meeting with a plea for everyone to vote for the state tax increases.