Resources > Charter Currents > Charter Currents: Newsom Proposes 10 Percent LCFF Funding Cut

Editor’s Note: CSDC is offering these Coronavirus-19 updates for public viewing, to members and non-members alike, and in front of our usual member’s only “paywall” as a service to the larger charter school community. We hope nonmembers will consider joining CSDC.

Sacramento, CA—Governor Newsom proposes a 10 percent cut to the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), cash deferrals, and accelerated pension relief as part of his May Revision to his January budget proposal. 

The proposals are available only in summary form at this time, but highlights (or lowlights, given their very negative impact) include the following:

  • Cut funding for the LCFF by 10 percent, presumably after factoring-in the statutory 2.31 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), for a net cut that is in the 7.7 percent range.
  • Defer $1.9 billion of state aid to schools, presumably from the end of the current 2019-20 fiscal year to 2020-21, and a larger $5.3 billion deferral in 2021-22 to 2021-22. While we presume these would be short, June to July deferrals, details are not yet available. Exemptions to the deferrals would be available “for local educational agencies if apportionment deferrals create a documented hardship.”
  • Allocate $4.4 billion of federal relief “to local educational agencies offering classroom-based instruction based on a formula that takes into account the share of students most heavily impacted by school closures, including students with disabilities, low-income students, English learners, youth in foster care, and homeless youth.” CSDC is concerned that the Governor may be proposing to short-sheet nonclassroom-based charter schools who were already short-sheeted in the state’s first round of $100 million in COVID-19 aid. The Governor may also be proposing to restrict these funds to being spent for “learning loss mitigation,” though details are short here, too.
  • Redirect $2.3 billion previously appropriated to reduce long-term CalSTRS and CalPERS pension liabilities and use the funds instead to provide more near-term relief to school employers. The proposal would reduce CalSTRS employer rates from 18.41 to 16.15 percent in 2020-21 and 18.2 to 16.02 percent in 2021-22. CalPERS rates would be reduced from 22.67 to 20.7 percent in 2020-21 and 25.0 percent to 22.84 percent in 2021-22.
  • Impose an unspecified “age cap” on charter school students. Current law already sharply restricts charter schools ability to serve students over age 19 and we presume the Governor may be seeking to further limit charter schools’ reach.
  • Eliminate nearly all proposed state funding augmentations contained in Newsom’s January budget proposal.
  • Reduce funding for many existing categorical programs, including the After School Education and Safety, Career-Technical Incentive Grant, K-12 Strong Workforce, and deleting the COLA for others.
  • Maintain the proposed increase to special education base rates, but deleting the 2.31 percent COLA, for a net increase of $645 million—the only major state funding increase in the K-12 portion of the budget.

Key details, especially controversial ones, are often missing from the glossy summaries released today, so the information presented in this update is preliminary. CSDC will provide a more detailed review of the Governor’s May Revise budget proposals as the amended Budget Act and trailer bill language is released, most likely early next week, after we have discussed them with Newsom Administration and legislative staff.  

Posted: 05/14/2020