March 9, 2017 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education
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.
May 5, 2015 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
May 15, 2017 - In this brief, we analyze the Governor’s May Revision education proposals. First, we review changes in the overall Proposition 98 funding level. Subsequently, we describe and assess the Governor’s major proposals for K‑12 education, child care and preschool, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, and student financial aid.
5/16/17: Correction to LAO CalWORKs Stage 2 cost estimates.
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.
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.
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.
March 18, 2014 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
February 16, 1999 - Analysis of the 1999-00 Budget Bill, Education Chapter
June 4, 2013 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee
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 3, 2009 - The Governor’s budget reflects major reductions to school spending in 2008-09 and 2009-10. In this report, we outline ways for the Legislature to achieve budget-ary savings while minimizing the adverse effects on core educational programs. In contrast to the Governor’s approach of cutting K-12 revenue limits (districts’ most flexible source of funding), we recommend that the Legislature make targeted spending reductions. We develop a three-tiered approach to making these reduc-tions, first identifying cuts that would have the least programmatic effect. To help districts respond to these reductions, the administration proposes to permanently suspend most categorical program requirements and all but three K-14 mandates. In contrast, we recommend that the Legislature adopt a more strategic approach that provides districts with additional categorical program flexibility but also simpli-fies, streamlines, and improves the existing system. We also recommend undertak-ing substantive mandate reform.
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.