14 Sep 2014
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School Districts Hopeful For Flat Funding

With the Legislature expected to draft a budget this week, district officials say flat funding may the best option, but it is still well below what was promised to schools under Proposition 98.

School Districts Hopeful For Flat Funding

With the Legislature expected to pass a budget this Wednesday, Glendora school district officials are hoping the drafted budget will include flat funding, which would give districts the same level of funding as the previous year.

School districts, who , expect flat funding for the new fiscal year.

“We are very hopeful that it will be a flat budget and schools will be funded what they are currently,” said Glendora Unified Superintendent Dr. Robert Voors during Monday’s Glendora Unified school board meeting. Voors added that the flat funding is still well below what schools need, but is far better than the .

Still, school districts currently receive 80 cents per dollar, which only represents part of the funding promised under Proposition 98.

Charter Oak Unified Director of Fiscal Services Kathy Perkins noted funding for education is about $1,200 less per student than promised under Prop. 98, and has brought California to 50th in the nation in educational spending by nearly any measure.

“My real hope is that the governor’s budget will include legislative action in that package,” said Charter Oak Unified District Superintendent Mike Hendricks.

Despite the changing nature of the state budget, school districts must submit their own budgets by June 30.

This year may be only the second in 25 years that Congress could pass a budget on time, but much of that hinges on a plan the Democrats can pass without the GOP votes needed to pass tax increase extensions.

Spurred by new legislation that docks Legislature pay for each day the budget is late, Democrats are determined to pass a budget by the June 15 deadline, although Governor Jerry Brown announced he would continue to pursue tax increase extensions in a special election.

“We have a plan and it is a good plan, and it will put California on a firm footing for many years to come,” Brown said of the plan to close the remaining $10 billion shortfall in a video update. Republicans still remain firm on their demands should a special election go through to the public.

Latest word from the capitol indicates the Legislature is working feverishly to draft an alternative plan without the tax increases and extensions, but Democrats indicated that such a plan would not bridge the entire $10 billion deficit.

"There's no way to solve our long-term fiscal problems without [taxes]," Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) told the Los Angeles Times. "Republicans are simply unwilling or incapable of supporting a budget that includes [more] revenue."

Patch writer Zach Stoloff contributed to this report.

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