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May 13, 2021 - In this post we provide background on child care and preschool program flexibilities that have been granted to certain counties. We then assess these flexibilities and provide issues for the Legislature to consider in deciding whether to maintain flexibilities.
April 29, 2021 - Since March 2020, the federal government has passed three relief packages that assist K-12 schools and child care providers in their response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This post provides a brief summary of how the three federal relief packages affect K-12 education and child care and describes how the state has used these federal funds, as of April 2021.
February 11, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor’s proposal to transition state administration of child care programs. We further provide options the Legislature could consider to support child care programs during the pandemic.
Correction (2/18/2021): A previous version of this post stated DSS released a draft of the transition plan. This version is corrected to state DSS released a transition plan guide.
May 18, 2020 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 On Education Finance Hon. Kevin McCarty, Chair
May 14, 2020 - In this post, we discuss actions the federal and state governments have taken to assist K-12 schools and child care providers in responding to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
February 21, 2020 - In this report, we provide an overview of the Governor’s early education proposals, then analyze his three major early education proposals. Specifically, we analyze his proposals to (1) expand the number of full‑day preschool slots, (2) create a new department to administer child care programs, and (3) fund facilities for more preschool programs.
January 13, 2020 - This report presents our office’s initial assessment of the Governor’s budget. We estimate the Governor had a $6 billion surplus to allocate to discretionary purposes in 2020-21. The Governor allocates most of the surplus toward one-time purposes, including maintaining a positive year-end balance in the state’s discretionary reserve. Under the administration’s estimates, total reserves would reach $20.5 billion at the end of 2020-21—this represents a $1.7 billion increase from the 2019-20 enacted level. California continues to enjoy a healthy fiscal situation. Despite its positive near-term picture, the budget’s multiyear outlook is subject to considerable uncertainty. In addition to describing the condition of the budget under the Governor’s proposal, this report discusses tools the Legislature can use to mitigate against these heightened risks.
January 20, 2020: Upon further review, one item included in the original version of Appendix Figure 3 on discretionary on health spending should not have been included (specfically, use of the Medi-Cal drug rebate fund to offset General Fund costs). Removing this item—which reduces General Fund spending—from the list of discretionary choices made in the Governor’s budget increases our calculation of the surplus to $6 billion. The document is updated to reflect these changes.
Update 1/24/20: Adjusted Judicial Branch items in Appendix Figure 1 to reflect ongoing spending.
November 21, 2019 - This post is part of our November Outlook series intended to help the Legislature plan for the budget year ahead. In this post, we provide background on the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) child care program, discuss our projections of future CalWORKs child care costs, and identify various risks and uncertainties that could affect these future costs.
In addition to this report, you can find the main California's Fiscal Outlook report along with a collection of other fiscal outlook material on our fiscal outlook budget page.
May 6, 2019 - In this post, we compare the administration's estimate with our independent estimate, then discuss the key assumptions underlying each of the estimates.
March 4, 2019 - In this report, we provide an overview of the Governor’s early education proposals, then analyze his three major proposals in this area. Specifically, we analyze his proposals to (1) fund facilities for more full‑day kindergarten programs, (2) make targeted one‑time improvements to the child care and preschool system, and (3) expand the number of full‑day preschool slots. We then assess the administration’s cost estimates for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) child care programs. We end the report with a summary of our early education recommendations.
February 28, 2019 - In this report, we evaluate three Governor's budget proposals related to early intervention services for infants and toddlers with special needs. These include: (1) $60 million ongoing (split between Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenues and federal Medicaid funding) to provide supplemental payments to physicians who screen children covered by Medi-Cal for developmental delays, (2) four new positions (at a cost of $446,000 General Fund) to increase state oversight of Regional Center early intervention services, and (3) possible forthcoming trailer bill language to improve transitions for children aging out of early intervention services and into preschool special education. We recommend rejecting the proposed supplemental payments and approving the other two proposals and further recommend the Legislature consider broader reforms to address longstanding weaknesses in the state's early intervention system.
Update (3/4/19): Figure 3 totals adjusted.
February 6, 2019 - This report is a visual guide that covers every major area of California’s education system, with chapters on early education, K-12 education, adult precollegiate education, undergraduate education, graduate education, and education facilities. Throughout the report, we rely almost entirely upon state and federal government data sources and cite the most readily available data. Within each chapter, we tend to focus on the students who are served, the state programs designed to serve them, the funds supporting those programs, how program funding is spent, and what is known about outcomes in that area. As you journey through the report, you will be exposed to information on everything from student diversity and achievement gaps, to student aid and borrowing, to faculty salaries and rising pension costs, to the requirements for becoming a teacher or doctor in California. We hope the report is a helpful reference guide for you.
January 14, 2019 - This report presents our office’s initial assessment of the Governor’s Budget. The budget’s position continues to be positive. With $20.6 billion in discretionary resources available, the Governor’s budget proposal reflects a budget situation that is even better than the one our office estimated in the November Fiscal Outlook. The Governor’s Budget allocates nearly half of these discretionary resources to repaying state liabilities. Then, the Governor allocates $5.1 billion to one-time programmatic spending, $3 billion to reserves, and $2.7 billion to ongoing spending. Although the Governor’s allocation to discretionary reserves represents a smaller share of resources than recent budgets, the Governor’s decision to use a significant share of resources to pay down state debts is prudent. The Governor’s ongoing spending proposal is roughly in line with our November estimate of the ongoing capacity of the budget under an economic growth scenario. This was just one scenario, however. Recent financial market volatility indicates revenues could be somewhat lower than either we or the administration estimated.
December 12, 2018 - The Supplemental Report of the 2018-19 Budget Act required our office to identify the pros and cons of Alternative Payment agencies using a paper versus electronic process to collect monthly child care attendance records. This report fulfills this requirement.