Prospective Budget Includes Deep Cuts to Education

No CSR Flexibility*, Categorical Flexibility


At the outset, I should qualify this analysis as saying that it could change in a final budget bill or could get thrown out the window if there is no budget deal.

For this year, the budget has a $2.4 billion reduction for what was budgeted in the 2008-09 Budget Act. It has a $5 billion reduction in Prop 98 Funding from 2008-09 to 2009-10. Cuts to Categorical Programs and Categorical Flexibility

The Governor proposes $1.9 billion in K-12 program reductions split evenly between revenue limits ($945 million) and categorical programs ($945 million) in the current year. These reductions continue in the budget year, growing to $2.4 billion, an increase of approximately $535 million. More than 50 categorical programs will be subject to across-the-board reductions that will be allocated proportionally and are estimated at roughly 15 percent. Deficit factors are established for revenue limit reductions in both years.

The budget provides comprehensive categorical funding flexibility over the next five years to mitigate program reductions. Specifically, the budget allows local educational agencies to transfer unlimited funds from more than 40 categorical programs to their general purpose accounts commencing in the current year. Another 11 programs are subject to reductions, but are not subject to categorical flexibility programs. [Eight major Proposition 98 programs are excluded from any categorical reductions or flexibility, including Child Development, Child Nutrition, Economic Impact Aid, Special Education, Home-to-School Transportation, After School Education & Safety, K-3 Class Size Reduction, and Quality Education Investment Act.]

This is the big one because it allows the district to have flexibility with left over categorical funds. However, it does not include flexibility with regards to Class Size Reduction (CSR).

*That said it does reduce the penalty for exceeding the maximum class sizes allowable under the k-3 CSR program for a four year period.

There will be no COLAs, which will save the state an approximate $2.5 assuming a COLA of 5.02%.

The bill allows prior-year categorical fund balance to be used in the general plan for the current year and the budget year. However it excludes access to fund balances from seven programs [Economic Impact Aid, Special Education, Targeted Instructional Improvement Block Grant, Instructional Materials, Home-to-School Transportation, CAHSEE Supplemental Services, and Quality Education Intervention and Achievement.]

The bill suspends the statutory requirement to purchase newly adopted textbooks and other instructional material.

It reduces Routine Maintenance Reserve requirement from three percent to one percent for five years.

It suspends reserve and reporting requirements for deferred maintenance for five years.

What Do This Mean For DJUSD?

One of the key questions here is what it mean not to have the CSR Flexibility but a reduction of the penalty for exceeding maximum class sizes for a four year period. I suppose this is a compromise to keep the provision on the books but to give districts a greater degree of flexibility. It will be interesting to see if this sticks in the budget and how DJUSD interprets it.

That point aside, I think this puts us back to the earlier budget assumptions.

Does this put us back to the budget assumptions from January 28, 2009?

That would add $1.1 million or so for the Categorical Allocation Transfer in 2009-10 and $400,000 in reduced restricted maintenance transfer.

The question then is what the district will do. Recall that without CSR, that is one million that the district does not have for 2009-10 and two million for 2010-11.

That gives the district probably four options for balancing the budget through 2010-11. Option one is to use the categorical flexibility and keep CSR as it is, and keep salaries where they are. According to the budget model from January, that would force the district to eat up the remainder of its fund balance.

Option two is to bring the CSR adjustment to 22:1 or 23:1 as some of the board members favor. That would free up $1 million at 22:1 or $1.5 million at 23:1. How many teaching positions would that mean would be lost? Does that require pink slips or can simply attrition achieve the changes? Part of this will depend on what the penalties are for being out of compliance? The other part will depend on the interpretation of Measure Q’s bringing down the ratio to 20:1 when the state’s requirement is 22:1.

Option three would be to keep CSR as it is and reduce teacher and classified employee salaries by 2.5%. The advantage of this would be that there would be guaranteed zero layoffs. The disadvantage of this is that with categorical flexibility, there is likely no way that DTA would submit to pay cuts.

Option four would be a combination of reduction in CSR with some pay cuts.

It is clear that DTA will push very hard for Option One. It will be interesting to see if these indeed are the options at this point and what the district recommends.

All of this assumes the budget eventually passes with these provisions. That is in doubt at the moment. If the budget remains unresolved, then all bets are off and the future looks far more bleak than it currently does.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. David M. Greenwald

    That's what I'm wondering which one they least prefer–losing jobs or cutting salary. I know which option they will fight for. I think I know which on the district prefers. This is interesting.It's all academic if the state can't get one more vote for this budget.

  2. David M. Greenwald

    Lance is a doper.In real news: California Legislature breaking till one. The Senate is one vote shy. The two best options Cox and Maldonado are ruled out. This doesn't look good. We have not seen economic crisis until we see what happens when the state starts defaulting on all sorts of stuff.

  3. David M. Greenwald

    Back to far more important stuff.Still waiting for one more Republican. The Sac Bee launched a plea to call Sen. Dave Cox. Now the focus is on Sen. Abel Maldonado who represents my former neck of the woods. Bottom line, is if this bill doesn't pass, on Tuesday deep cuts start occurring. The state's fiscal situation becomes perilous.

  4. Anonymous

    The Enterprise today was very well written , I renewed my subscription also . There article on the state budget was very informative .Even there Amgen Tour article was very positive about all the riders .The Enterprise just brightened my day today , hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day .

  5. Anonymous

    …So, do you think that Lance will win the AMGEN?… No. I understand that he is a domestique this time.More to the point — we know where CTA stands with respect to CSR. Where does the DTA stand on that issue? Do they oppose CSR enough to consider salary cuts?

  6. wdf

    This Thursday’s school board meeting agenda shows that they’re supposed to talk about the PKS list (list for pink slips). Is there a draft list out there?How many positions does the district have to cut?

  7. Anonymous

    ”” David M. Greenwald said…Lance is a doper. ”” ”I’ve never heard of this , I’m very surprised by your statement .I’ve only read and heard positive news about Lance Armstrong .Maybe you just have a chip on your shoulder about hard working people , trying to make a living !!!

  8. punish em all

    This is not just about Armstrong, this is about athletes in general. Who is kidding who, they all use. If they do not use, they don’t get the big bucks. Someone needs to hold the organizations that hire these people accountable. Fine them so much $, that the costs offset the gains the athletes make to the organizations.

  9. Now I get it

    David M. Greenwald said……I don’t know where you’ve been. It is funny people make such a big deal out of McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, and now Alex Rodriguez, but Lance Armstrong gets a free pass.Lance Armstrong SteroidsOf he denies it, so did all of them….Now I finally understand from whence this blog derives its journalistic standards… a Google search. Yeesh.

  10. Ive got something

    You Don’t Get Anything said……If you hadn’t heard that Armstrong was involved in steroid allegations. It was front page stories a few years ago….Of course I heard about allegations — just like I read all the allegations on this blog. David said Lance is a doper, and used a Google search to …prove… it. Blog journalism at its best — woo hoo!

  11. Lexicon Artist

    For what it’s worth, I looked over a large number of the sites that David’s …Google link… brought up, and none of them quotes a mainstream publication which says it can prove that …Lance Armstrong is a doper…. At worst, there have been serious allegations made against Armstrong by some associates of his and a one guy who was close to Armstrong apparently was caught up in one of the many doping scandals in cycling. Yet it’s interesting that in the 7 years Armstrong won the Tour de France, years that all cyclists were tested (all year round, by the way) and many cyclists were caught, Armstrong was never found to be on performance enhancing drugs. It’s certainly possible that he was using agents, but if he was and got away with it, it’s probably the case that all of his closest competitors were using the same tricks and he was just a better rider than they were.That parallels my feelings about the most infamous doper: Barry Bonds. Of course he used steroids, and probably HGH and whatever other agents he could. But so did all of his fellow competitors. Before he died (from cocaine, I think), Ken Caminiti estimated 85% of all major leaguers were using PEDs. The difference with Bonds (and A-Rod for that matter), is that Barry was just much better than everyone else in his generation. People who romanticize the past think Bonds had an unfair advantage because he (and the pitchers he was destroying) used steroids, and therefore his records are tainted. But records need to be put in the context of their times. Bonds was the best player of his times, an era in which PEDs were commonly used. Babe Ruth was the best player in his era, a time when non-whites were barred from playing. Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax were the best pitchers of their era, when the mound was high, the ball was relatively soft, and parks were very large.Lance Armstrong was the best cyclist of his era, when he had the same access to technology as every one of his competitors, and everyone was tested for the same PEDs.

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