February 7, 2018 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s overall Proposition 98 budget package as well as his specific spending proposals for K‑12 education and early education.
March 8, 2016 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
January 21, 2015 - Presented to: Senate Education Committee
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.
March 18, 2014 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
January 3, 2013 - Special education is the catch-all term that encompasses the specialized services that schools provide for disabled students. Developing a more thorough understanding of how California’s disabled students are served is the first step towards improving their educational outcomes. Toward this end, our primer is intended to provide the Legislature and public with an overview of special education in California—conveying information on special education laws, affected students, services, funding, and academic outcomes.
Also, see our 2016 animated video series Overview of Special Education in California.
February 19, 2003 - We identify several areas where the Legislature could reduce the assessment burden on school districts while maintaining the state's emphasis on academic content and performance standards: the NRT portion of the STAR program, the primary language test, the Golden State Exams, and the physical fitness test.
May 14, 2018 - In this report, we analyze the 2018-19 May Revision education proposals. We first provide an overview of Proposition 98 funding and then focus on the Governor’s major proposals for K‑12 education, child care and preschool, community colleges, universities, and student financial aid. In the pages that follow, we offer many specific recommendations for the Legislature to consider. Our package of recommendations includes adopting some proposals, modifying others in certain ways, rejecting others but inviting better proposals next year, and rejecting some proposals in their entirety.
January 20, 2015 - This report examines Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) for 50 school districts to evaluate whether they reflect thoughtful strategic planning and meet statutory requirements. We find that fulfilling all of the statutory LCAP requirements is a challenging undertaking for districts. Requiring districts to cover every area required in statute—regardless of local conditions—reduces the time and energy districts can spend on areas in need of greatest attention. We recommend the Legislature allow districts to focus their plans on their highest priority areas rather than require them to address all eight state-specified priority areas. We also find that the information in districts’ LCAPs related to the services they will provide to EL/LI students is often unclear and difficult to understand. We recommend several changes that would improve the quality of this information. We also recommend the Legislature clarify the metrics districts can include in their plans. Additionally, we recommend the state disseminate model LCAPs to help districts improve their plans moving forward.
March 10, 2015 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance
October 19, 2015 - Each year, the Legislative Analyst's Office publishes its Spending Plan publication to summarize the state's annual budget. Passed in June 2015, with various amendments later during the year's legislative session, the state's 2015-16 spending plan includes a large increase in funding for schools and community colleges. The budget makes augmentations to child care and preschool, higher education, and various health and human services programs. The plan also creates a new state earned income tax credit to increase the after-tax income of low-income workers.
February 21, 2001 - Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill, Education Chapter
August 28, 2014 - The core responsibility of the California Department of Education (CDE) is to administer federal and state education programs. Our review found the department currently is adequately positioned to fulfill this core mission. We also found, however, that the scope of CDE’s responsibilities—and the associated need for staff and funding—change frequently based on shifting state and federal policies. In order to maintain the department's capacity to meet its responsibilities, we recommend the Legislature ensure that additional responsibilities placed on CDE in the future are paired with additional resources. Similarly, should the Legislature notably reduce CDE’s responsibilities, we recommend it make a conforming reduction to associated CDE positions and funding. We also believe CDE could find ways to make its existing services more valuable to districts and integrate state and federal accountability activities. Finally, we recommend that the Legislature repeal some CDE reporting requirements that provide limited value.
June 10, 2008 - California currently operates two systems designed to turn around low–performing schools—one for state purposes and one for federal purposes. The two systems are uncoordinated and often duplicative, in addition to being poorly structured. We recommend replacing the two systems with an integrated system that serves both state and federal purposes. Under the new system, the state would support district reform efforts. Districts would receive different levels of support depending on the severity of their underlying performance problem and be given short–term funding linked to specific short–term district reform activities. By virtue of being integrated and district–centered, the new system would cost substantially less than the existing system and could be supported entirely with federal funding.
March 9, 2017 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education