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Education highlights of California’s new state budget

Sarah Favot | June 27, 2017

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Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the state budget for the next fiscal year, which includes an additional $3 billion for K-12 education and community colleges, bringing total state spending on education to $74.5 billion for 2017-18.

LA Unified is the largest school district in the state. The majority of its budget, as other public school districts, comes from the state. LA Unified is slated to receive $6.4 billion in state revenues next year.

The state budget includes an additional $1.4 billion under the Local Control Funding Formula, which is about 97 percent fully implemented since it was put in place four years ago. LCFF gives more money to districts that serve students who are from low-income families, foster youth, and English-language learners. School districts will also receive $877 million in one-time discretionary funds.

Here are some specific programs that will be funded in the state budget:

• The state’s After School and Education Safety Program will receive a bump of $50 million
• For teachers and principals, an increase of $41.3 million for programs to recruit and provide professional development, focusing on subjects areas where there is a shortage of teachers like special education, math, science, and bilingual education
• An increase of $10 million for additional services for refugee students

The district did not release a statement Tuesday, but when the governor’s May Revise Budget was released last month, Superintendent Michelle King and school board President Steve Zimmer released a statement saying they thanked Brown “for his continued focus on fulfilling the commitment to grow K-12 education funding.”

Ryan J. Smith, executive director of The Education Trust-West, an education advocacy organization based in Oakland, released a statement following the budget signing.

“The Education Trust-West appreciates Governor Brown and the Legislature enacting a budget that puts more dollars into education,” Smith said. “Fully funding LCFF is one of the most important things we can do to close opportunity and achievement gaps.”

Smith called on the governor and the Legislature to enact Assembly Bill 1321, authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber along with Education Trust-West and Children Now, to require school districts to carefully track and report per-pupil spending of federal, state, and local dollars.

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