TOPIC

Education finance

Education Finance

In adopting the Local Control Funding Formula, California moved from one of the least transparent school funding systems in the country to one of the most straightforward. In addition, increased revenue has helped California school district resource and expenditure levels not only recover from their post-recession lows, but also reach higher levels in 2016-17 than at any point since at least 2004-05.

However, per-pupil spending in California remains consistently below the national average, and district budgets are being impacted by rising costs associated with pensions, health care, Special Education, and facilities.

PACE research in this area is focused on building and advancing the evidence base on how to achieve equitable and adequate funding that leads to improved outcomes.

Recent Topic Publications
The Implications of Marin’s Rising Pension Costs and Tax Revolt for Increasing Education Funding
Voters in Marin County have long been willing to pass parcel taxes to fund their schools. In 2016, taxes faced unprecedented opposition from local activists; taxes in Kentfield and Mill Valley were defeated or passed by previously unheard-of narrow…
Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD), California’s thirteenth largest school district, faces a looming deficit and must make significant budget adjustments to avoid state intervention. This case study explores how the district reached…
Evidence from California
Charter schools enroll a growing share of public school students, leading to concerns about the financial implications of charter schools for traditional public schools. Using detailed expenditure data for school districts in California, this paper…
Researchers in the Getting Down to Facts II project showed that while the financial picture has improved in recent years for California’s school districts, several important challenges remain. This policy brief explores one of these challenges in…