Gov. Brown’s California budget proposes fully paying for K-12 funding formula in his last year

The additional $3 billion for the funding formula in 2018-19 will consume most of the projected increase of $4 billion over the current budget for K-12 schools.

Brown’s funding law shifted authority over spending decisions from Sacramento to school districts, and funneled substantial money to districts to support high-needs students: English learners and low-income, foster and homeless students..

The governor also proposed for the first time to base community college funding on the same concept.

At his press conference to discuss the budget, Brown made a strong defense of the formula and the principle of local control.

“Local empowerment: That’s what it’s all about. The age of micromanagement from Sacramento and Washington, D.C., is over as far as I am concerned,” he said.

Brown is also proposing to give K-12 districts an additional $1.8 billion in one-time discretionary funding from other money that will be available.

Total funding for K-12 schools and community colleges is determined by Proposition 98, a 30-year-old formula that voters passed to guarantee a minimum level of education funding. Brown’s Department of Finance projects Prop. 98 will be funded $78.3 billion in 2018-19, an increase of $4.6 billion over what the Legislature appropriated for the current year. Community colleges receive about 11 percent of the total, with K-12 schools getting most of the remainder.

At Brown’s urging, the Legislature passed the Local Control Funding Formula in 2013. Full funding means that funding levels for all districts have been restored at least to the pre-recession levels of 2008-09. Districts with high concentrations of students targeted for extra money — such as Santa Ana Unified — are funded above that level. Santa Ana will receive about a third more per student than Huntington Beach City Elementary District, a wealthier district in Orange County with few students targeted for additional aid. Click here to read more: