Evidence to Inform Education Policy: The Governor's Budget and Getting Down to Facts II

Evidence to Inform Education Policy: The Governor's Budget and Getting Down to Facts II

Budget

Governor Newsom’s first Budget Proposal increases funding for education in California. There are areas of substantive overlap in the Budget Proposal and research findings from the Getting Down to Facts II research project, released in September 2018, which built an evidence base on the current status of California education and implications for paths forward. As the Budget moves from proposal to reality, it is critical that the evidence from GDTFII continues to inform the policy process, particularly in response to these key findings:

school finance

Adequately fund schools

The Budget proposes a $2 billion increase for the Local Control Funding Formula, providing needed funds for schools and districts. However, GDTFII research suggests the budget would need to be increased by over $25 billion to achieve adequate spending for California schools.

Early Childhood Toy

Improve access to high-quality early childhood education

The Budget proposes over $630 million for increased access to preschool; however, providing additional slots without sufficient attention to the quality of programs and instruction will not produce the long-term results that California seeks for its students.

Pension Piggy bank

Address large unfunded pension liabilities

The Budget proposes a $3 billion one-time payment to CalSTRS to reduce long-term liabilities for employers, which will relieve some of the burden of districts’ pension costs. However, it does not resolve the structural issues that have put California in such severe pension debt.

Data Systems

Develop data systems to inform educational improvement

The Budget proposes $10 million for the development of a longitudinal data system. As plans unfold, the data system will need to be designed in partnership with stakeholders with the purposes and uses of the data system in mind.

Special Ed

Increase funding for Special Education

The Budget proposes $576 million to support expanded Special Education services and school readiness supports. Additional work and investments will be required to ensure fair and equitable distribution of Special Education resources.

school facilities

Fund school facility construction and modernization

The Budget proposes an increase of $906 million over the prior year to support school facility projects. The wide volatility in facilities funding, disparities by district wealth, and the lack of reliable information on facilities remain unaddressed.

Continuous improvement

Build capacity to support continuous improvement

The Budget proposes an increase of $20.2 million for County Offices of Education for providing school district assistance, however, additional investments must be made in building system capacity for continuous improvement.

For more evidence to inform policy, visit https://gettingdowntofacts.com

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