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California Budget Conference Committee Begins

Branché Jones

May 24, 2016


As the budget process moves ahead, below we’ve outlined some key information and initiatives that impact California charter schools.
This week the California legislative budget subcommittees and the full Assembly and Senate Budget Committees will finish their work reviewing and voting on their respective budget blueprints. Once that process is complete the Joint Budget Conference Committee will begin meeting so the legislative houses can begin to ‘hash out’ the differences between their blueprints and pass one budget through both houses by June 15th. After that Governor Jerry Brown will have 30 days to sign or veto the budget; he can also blue line (or reduce) certain amounts of funding within the budget.
For the education community, including charter school funding, the budget is robust with extra funding. The Assembly has included $3.1 Billion additional dollars for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) while the Senate included $2.979 Billion. Both houses also have included over $1 Billion to pay off the mandate backlog.
For California charter schools specifically, the legislature rejected the Governor’s effort to add $20 Million for Charter School Start Up Grants. The Governor had proposed the money because California did not get approved for the next round of federal dollars for charter school funding. The legislature’s rationale is there is still over $24 Million in federal carryover dollars available for the program and they will take a look at it again next year. They did approve an additional staff person for the California School Finance Authority to work on the Charter School Facility Grant Program. Additionally, the Senate included language that will allow independent study charter schools to store their records electronically. The Assembly did not include that language so it will be a conference item.

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