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Good news, bad news: 2 views of the Brown budget

LA School Report | January 14, 2014

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EdSource and the LA Times take a look at the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office review of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal and point to opposite ends of the spectrum for public education in California.

As John Fensterwald writes in EdSource:

California may take in at least “a few billion dollars” more in revenue this year than Gov. Jerry Brown forecast a week ago, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote Monday in an analysis of the governor’s proposed state budget.

Although a lot can change between now and May, when Brown revises his budget, “Nevertheless, we advise state leaders to plan for the significant possibility that revenue estimates for 2013-14 and perhaps 2014-15 will be higher when they are revised in mid-May,” the LAO said in its 44-page “Overview of the Governor’s Budget.”

Any increase in the General Fund will be continued good news for education. For every $1 billion more in revenue in the current fiscal year, at least half must go toward K-12 schools and community colleges under Proposition 98, the formula that determines money for education. Read the full story here.

Meanwhile, Chris Megerian of the LA Times reports:

Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget proposal would continue to improve California’s finances, but his plans for financing bullet train construction and a lack of new money for the cash-strapped teacher pension system are troublesome, according to the same Legislative Analyst’s Office.

The analysis said the governor should put more money into the teacher pension fund. Administration officials estimate that the retirement system is underfunded by $80.4 billion.

Read the full story here.

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