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October 14, 2010 As we told members in last week's special edition of Capitol Update, the Governor has signed the state budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2010-2011. This is the latest that the Legislature has ever approved a spending plan, due annually on July 1, the start of California's fiscal year. If you haven't had time to read the full Budget Brief, here is some information on public charter school-related budget items.

General Budget Highlights

  • No new taxes, no elimination of social welfare programs
  • Instead, the budget includes approximately $7.5 billion in cuts, an assumption of $5.3 billion in federal funds, $2.4 billion in additional revenues (largely by suspending the Net Operating Loss suspension and increases in revenue forecasts), $2.9 billion in fund shifts and other revenues
  • Places a stronger "Rainy Day Fund" on the ballot for voter approval as part of larger budget reform efforts
  • Repeals a 1999 law (SB 400) which granted more generous public employee pension benefits, and other pension reforms designed to increase transparency and end pension spiking

K-14 Funding Levels

  • Total state funding for K-14 at $52.5 billion
  • Suspends Proposition 98 for one year and funds Proposition 98 at $49.7 billion, creates a maintenance factor of $4.5 billion
  • Provides $300 million in settle-up payments in the budget year
  • Includes a $1.7 billion K-12 deferral in to the next fiscal year, which while reducing the amount of money the state will spend in the 2010-11 FY, puts the total programmatic funding at just under $8,000 per student, slightly higher than 2009-10 FY funding levels.

Public Charter School Budget Items

  • SB 740 - Charter School Facility Grant Program

    • $75 million for the Charter School Facility Grant Program
    • Adds language increasing access to the Charter School Facility Grant Program
  • New and Growing Schools Categorical Funding

    • $9 million allocated to provide categorical funding for new schools opening in 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11
    • The funds will be allocated per ADA to these charter schools

While the compromise budget plan includes painful cuts for everyone affected by it, education as a whole fared better than most issue areas. CCSA's legislative team has once again done great work on ensuring that charter schools were not disproportionately impacted by the budget. In addition, the Association's efforts to ensure that charter schools received specific funding for two important budget areas - facilities funding for SB 740 and categorical funding for new and growing schools - were successful.

Thank you to everyone who participated in CCSA Action Alerts on the budget, and to the Legislators and Governor who supported our budget items.

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