February 26, 2014 - Traditionally, the state has reimbursed local educational agencies (LEAs) for performing mandated activities by requiring them to submit detailed documentation of their costs. In recent years, the state has tried to simplify this process by creating two alternative reimbursement structures. The reasonable reimbursement methodology (RRM) provides reimbursement for a particular mandate using a formula developed in a quasi-judicial forum. The education mandates block grants (one for schools and one for community colleges) provide reimbursement for all active education mandates using a per-student rate established in the budget. Whereas the rarely used RRM process has been very adversarial (once involving litigation) and resulted in long reimbursement delays, nearly all LEAs have chosen to participate in the block grants. Given their overlapping purposes and the comparative advantages of the block grants, we recommend the Legislature repeal the RRM for education mandates.
May 10, 2004 - Presented to Assembly Special Committee on State Mandates on May 10, 2004.
February 23, 2006 - The Governor’s budget proposes $133.6 million from the General Fund to pay for the costs of state-mandated local programs in K-12 education and community colleges in 2006-07. We find that the amount proposed in the budget bill for mandates falls short of fully funding ongoing mandate costs; the mandates claims process could be streamlined and simplified by reimbursing districts on a per-pupil basis for all K-12 mandates; recent action by the Commission on State Mandates (CSM) on the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) mandate raises issues about how the state should address local implementation costs of this program; and funding for state truancy mandates could be used more effectively by transforming these programs into a categorical program aimed at reducing truancy and dropouts.
May 28, 2019 - In this web post, we analyze the 2019-20 May Revision proposal to fund a new mandate relating to the Cal Grant program. We provide background on the mandate, discuss the Governor’s proposal, share our assessment, and provide an associated recommendation. This post fulfills a requirement for our office to analyze new mandates, as specified in Section 17562 of the Government Code.
February 18, 2004 - The administration's budget summary outlines ideas for changing the mandate system. While these ideas have merit, they do not go far enough to correct the structural problems inherent in the existing system. We identify six areas of concern that merit legislative consideration in any reform proposal.
February 9, 2017 - An analysis of the Governor’s overall 2017-18 Proposition 98 budget package as well as his specific spending proposals for K‑12 education, including a summary of our recommendations.
May 28, 2003 - Presented to Assembly Special Committee on State Mandates on May 28, 2003.
May 31, 2013 - Pursuant to Chapter 1124, Statutes of 2002 (AB 3000, Committee on Budget)
February 18, 2015 - The Governor's budget includes $7.8 billion in Proposition 98 funding increases for schools and community colleges, including $5 billion for programmatic increases and $2.8 billion for retiring outstanding obligations. In this report, we recommend the Legislature improve some of the Governor's specific Proposition 98 proposals and reject others. Most notably, though we recommend the Legislature adopt the Governor's proposal to provide $500 million for adult education consortia, we recommend making various programmatic improvements, folding some of the Governor's other proposed workforce funding into the adult education program, and rejecting a couple of the Governor's career technical education proposals. We also recommend rethinking the Governor's Internet infrastructure proposal. Additionally, we have various recommendations relating to the Local Control Funding Formula, county offices of education, and education mandates.
December 30, 2003 - In 2002 and 2003, the Commission on State Mandates determined that 23 sets of state laws impose state-reimbursable mandates on local governments. The commission estimated the state's cost to reimburse local agencies for these mandates is about $400 million. This report reviews the newly identified mandates, and offers recommendations as to whether each mandate should be repealed, funded, suspended, or modified.
February 21, 2013 - The Governor's 2013-14 budget provides $56.2 billion in total Proposition 98 funding--a $2.7 billion (5 percent) increase from the revised current-year level. The Governor dedicates new monies to paying down school and community college deferrals, transitioning to a new K-12 funding formula, restructuring adult education, funding Proposition 39 energy projects for schools and community colleges, and adding two mandates to the schools mandates block grant. The Governor also proposes various changes and consolidations relating to special education funding. Though we think the Governor's basic approach of dedicating roughly half of new funding to paying down existing obligations and the other half to building up base support is reasonable, we have concerns with many of his specific Proposition 98 proposals. In the areas of adult education, Proposition 39 energy projects, mandates, and special education, we provide alternatives for the Legislature 's consideration. Our assessment of an alternative to the Governor's Proposition 39 proposal can be found both in the Proposition 98 report and in a standalone budget brief--2013-14 Budget: Analysis of Governor's Proposition 39 Proposal.