2017-18 Budget Passes Legislature with Funding Increases for Schools

June 16, 2017

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Last week, the California Legislature passed the budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year beginning July 1. It now moves on to Governor for his signature. While the Governor has line item veto authority, he has typically made very few vetoes in recent years because legislative leadership and the Governor generally agree on the final budget agreement before the Legislature adopts it. The full budget is contained in Assembly Bill 97, the 2017 Budget Act, and AB 99, which is the Education Trailer Bill that includes the statute to implement the budget. CCSA will issue a full Budget Brief after the Governor signs the budget, but here are the highlights:

The budget contains about $126 billion in General Fund spending. The Legislature adopted the Governor's May Revision projections for Proposition 98 funding for K-14 education, including $74.5 billion for 2017-18, about $3 billion more than the 2016-17 guarantee. As a result of a better fiscal situation than projected in January, a proposed apportionment deferral was eliminated. Significant allocations include:

  • $1.36 billion more for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), including a 1.56 percent COLA for the target rates and an increase toward full-implementation that closes the remaining gap by about 43 percent. This provides about 97 percent of full funding for LCFF.
  • $876.6 million for one-time discretionary block grants (about $145 per pupil), which will be available in 2017-18, based on prior year Average Daily Attendance. (The Legislature did not agree to defer payment of this grant as proposed by the Governor.)
  • $50 million for an ongoing increase to the Afterschool Education and Safety Program (ASES).
  • Restoration of increases to preschool agreed to in last years' budget that the governor had previously proposed to delay.

Charter Schools

Specifically for charter schools, the budget approves the Governor's May Revision proposal to increase the capped rate for SB 740 facility grants, from $750 to $1,117 per pupil, and provide an annual cost inflation increase to the rate. However, this change does not include additional funding. The budget provides $112 million for facility grants, which is the same funding level as last year. If the program is oversubscribed, there will be an automatic proration reduction across all eligible grantees.

The budget also re-appropriates $20 million in one-time funds that had been set aside for charter start up grants in the event federal funds were not available. Because California received a $50 million federal grant award in 2016, these funds are longer needed for that purpose.

Other Items

Collective Bargaining- AB 111, a general government Trailer Bill, includes provisions that will require public employers with collective bargaining, including unionized charter schools, to provide access for the exclusive employee representative to all new employee orientations, and require the employer to provide the union with contact information for all new employees within 30 days of employment.

The Budget also contains a number of one-time grant opportunities, including:

  • $25 million for one-time Classified Employee Credentialing Grants
  • $15 million ongoing for a 1.56 percent COLA for the Mandate Block Grant
  • $10 million for one-time History and Social Science Professional Development
  • $10 million for one-time refugee student support
  • $5 million one-time for Bilingual Educators

At the Capitol: Statewide Advocacy webpage: Track current legislation and regulations, schedule a legislative visit and more.

State Budget Update webpage: Find out how the state budget impacts charter schools

Have questions related to legislation or regulations? Email Government Affairs or call us: (916) 448-0995, ext 308.