Friday, January 21, 2011

Budget Update 1-21-11

The budget season has begun with the unveiling of the Governor’s proposed budget. As most of you already know, Governor Brown has proposed severe cuts to many portions of the budget, with the exception of K-12 education. His rationale for this is that K-12 education has already taken dramatic reductions over the last two years.

You probably also know that his budget is contingent on the passage of a ballot measure to continue temporary taxes that are currently in place. Most of us are highly skeptical of the legislatures’ ability to acquire a 2/3 vote to place this on the June ballot. If it does make it to the ballot, it will take a herculean effort to get the voters to approve the extension of these taxes.

It will be necessary for SUSD to prepare two budgets for the 2010-11 through 2012-13 school years. The first will be as the Governor has proposed and the second will include our projected budget should the tax extension fail. The first will be a tough budget, but doable. The second will see our revenue reduced by an additional $2.5 million per year. SCOE has already informed us that they expect to see a multiple year projection based on NO tax extension and K-12 schools absorbing a larger piece of the State budget deficit.

The Governor’s budget proposal does include extending flexibility for use of categorical funding for another two years (through 2014). This would include a reduction in the penalty for exceeding K-3 class size reduction levels. However, the Governor’s budget did not address the option of a reduced (to 175 days) school year. That flexibility is currently eliminated after next year.

I will attempt to keep you informed of Statewide and local budget progress as it becomes known. I encourage you to send me your questions so I might use them in a Q&A in my updates. Email to: .

Like the cut and paste below, I may send you pieces of information as I get them from various sources. Finally, the news headlines I send out will give you an idea of how other communities are coping with budget crisis related issues across the State.

By the Way . . . Governor Brown Declares Fiscal Emergency

On January 20, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown reaffirmed the fiscal emergency (as authorized by Proposition 58 of 2004) declared by then-Governor Schwarzenegger on December 6, 2010. In his proclamation, Brown notes the more-than $25 billion State Budget deficit and states that "decisive action is required to solve the state's persistent and severe budget problems, continue economic recovery, promote job growth, and preserve public education and the quality of life for all Californians."

In related State Budget news, the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees begin hearings on the Governor's 2011-12 Budget proposals next week. The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education will meet on Monday, January 24, and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance will meet on Tuesday, January 25.

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