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The 2018-19 Budget: A Guide to Understanding Potential Changes in the Proposition 98 Guarantee

May 7, 2018 - This post provides an update on the key factors affecting estimates of the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee for 2017-18 and 2018-19 and describes how the guarantee could change relative to estimates in the Governor’s January budget. The post is intended as a planning guide to help the Legislature understand the relationship between changing inputs and the minimum guarantee over the coming year.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Review of Fair Political Practices Commission Budget and Workload

May 7, 2018 -

At the April 5, 2018 hearing of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee Number 4, the committee directed our office to review the Fair Political Practices Commission’s budget and workload. This online analysis is the product of our review.

Updated 5/10/18:

  1. Changes to LAO Assessment to reflect new information regarding FPPC Advice Letter processing time.
  2. Addition of paragraphs (e) and (f) to proposed budget bill language.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Update on State Funding for K-12 School Facilities

May 3, 2018 - This post provides an overview of the state’s funding of school facilities, describes the Governor’s school facility bond sales proposal, assesses this proposal, and provides alternatives for the Legislature to consider.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Commission on Teacher Credentialing—Record Digitization

May 1, 2018 - In this post, we provide background on how the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) stores credential records and describe the Governor’s proposal to provide $1.5 million onetime (special funds) to digitize the records of teachers issued credentials prior to 1989. We find that the proposal is not cost-effective and recommend the Legislature reject it.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Update on Backlog of Teacher Misconduct Cases

April 30, 2018 - In this post, we provide an overview of how the state reviews teacher misconduct cases, track the backlog of cases, describe the actions the state has taken to reduce the backlog, and assess progress made to date. We encourage the Legislature to continue monitoring progress toward reducing the backlog closely over the coming year.

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The 2018-19 Budget: 2018-19 COLA for K-14 Education Programs

April 30, 2018 - On April 27, 2018, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis released updated information that affects the cost-of-living adjustment for certain school and community college programs. In this post, we describe the new information and its implications for school funding.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Meeting Workforce Demand for Certified Nursing Assistants in Skilled Nursing Facilities

April 27, 2018 - In this post, we provide background on new staffing requirements for certified nursing assistants working in skilled nursing facilities, describe the Governor’s proposals to address these new staffing requirements, assess those proposals, and make associated recommendations.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Charter School Facility Grant Program

April 23, 2018 - The Governor’s budget proposes a $28 million (25 percent) augmentation to the Charter School Facility Grant Program along with several notable changes to the program in trailer bill language. In this post, we provide background on the program, describe the Governor’s proposal, and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Update on K-12 Student Attendance

April 16, 2018 - In early March of 2018, we received data from the California Department of Education (CDE) on student attendance for the first half of the 2017-18 school year. In this post, we describe how the state tracks attendance and discuss the implications for Proposition 98 and school funding.

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The 2018-19 Budget: California State Library

April 13, 2018 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s eight California State Library budget proposals totaling $9.7 million in associated augmentations. We begin the post by providing an overview of the State Library and its budget. We then describe and assess the Governor’s proposals and offer associated recommendations.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Commission on Teacher Credentialing—Administrator Performance Assessment

April 12, 2018 - The 2015-16 budget package provided $2 million in one-time funding for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to develop an Administrator Performance Assessment (APA) for individuals seeking an administrative services credential. At the time, the Legislature was told that the APA would be ready by the end of 2016-17. Since then, CTC has been developing the APA and has conducted two field trials of the assessment. The administration proposes to provide an additional $1.3 million one time (special funds) to conduct a third year of field trials. In this post, we provide background on the APA, assess the Governor’s proposal, and recommend the Legislature require CTC to explain during hearings why the APA is over budget and behind schedule.

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California Community Colleges State Operations

April 11, 2018 - In this post, we provide background on the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and then discuss the Governor’s proposal to provide a $2 million augmentation for 15 new positions within the office.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Governor's Gann Limit Estimates

April 6, 2018 - The State Constitution limits how much the Legislature can spend from tax revenues. The administration’s 2018-19 budget proposal reflects increased “room” under this limit—essentially spending capacity—of roughly $6 billion over June 2017 levels. Notably, the administration revised its approach for estimating costs to comply with federal and court mandates, which are excluded from the limit. We find that the mandates approach is inconsistent with the implementation of the spending limit because the administration reflects costs from any mandate whereas only costs resulting from mandates imposed after 1978-79 should be excluded from the limit. We recommend the Legislature direct the administration to revise its approach going forward to be consistent with the limit, which conceivably could increase or decrease room under the limit. In addition, we make several additional recommendations that would reduce room under the limit by several billion dollars.

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The 2018-19 Budget: California Department of Food and Agriculture

March 28, 2018 - In this analysis, we assess two proposals in the Governor’s 2018-19 budget related to: (1) the Bee Safe Program, and (2) Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention. In addition, we briefly review the Governor’s safe and affordable drinking water proposal—for which CDFA would play an administrative role.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Child Care Programs—Analysis of Governor’s Hold Harmless Rate Proposal

March 19, 2018 - In this post, we first provide background on the reimbursement rate used for certain child care providers. We then describe and assess the Governor’s related hold harmless provision and end by making associated recommendations.