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More Good News: Schools Could Receive Another $3.1 Billion in 2013-2014

(Graphic above)  The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) projects that K-14 public education will receive an additional $3 billion in 2013-2014 and another $5 billion above that for 2014-2015, thanks in part to voter approval of Proposition 30, the funding initiative, last November.

In a welcome bit of news, K-14 public education could see another $3.1 billion in 2013-2014 above the allocations in the adopted state budget. The LAO also notes it may take longer than originally projected to fully fund the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

The nonpartisan LAO is reporting in its just released 57-page “The 2014-15 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook” that higher-than-anticipated revenue and Proposition 98 will direct more than $3 billion in new funding to public schools and the community colleges.

But the good news doesn’t stop there.  The LAO’s estimates conclude that public education’s Proposition 98 minimum funding guarantee – the floor that annual appropriations for schools are kept above – will grow by more than $5 billion in 2014-2015.

The LAO does offer some cautionary notes, suggesting that the rate of the state’s growing surplus will slow down after the increases voters authorized as part of Proposition 30 last November expire.

After years of cuts – more than $20 billion worth – that have cost students access to nursing, counseling, and other vital services, have slashed programs including music and the arts, and have boosted class size – the turnaround in funding is more than good news. It’s the first step toward a time when our schools are adequately funded.

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