How CA Districts Respond to Fiscal Flexibility? Statewide Survey Results on District Decisions on Consolidated Categorical Aid

Bruce Fuller, University of California, Berkeley; Jennifer Imazeki, San Diego State University; Julie Marsh, University of Southern California; Brian Stecher, RAND Corporation; Thomas Timar, University of California, Davis.

Date: 
Friday, January 20, 2012 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
Venue: 
UCCS Conference Room
Address: 
1130 K Street (basement floor), Sacramento, CA, 95814, United States

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Since 2009 the Department of Education has allowed local school boards to reallocate $4.5 billion in previously regulated categorical aid, now folded into the Tier 3 ‘block grant’. The UC-RAND research team reported earlier on case studies of 10 districts’ response to flexibility. This second PACE seminar will feature the results of their statewide survey of district chief financial officers and their analysis of statewide expenditure data. To what extent were Tier 3 dollars swept into district general funds? Which programs were hit hardest as re-allocations occurred? Did district leaders share fiscal flexibility with their principals during tough budget times? How did a district’s fiscal health condition their decisions? These are the questions addressed by the research team’s final report at the end of their two-year study.

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