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January 22, 2010

School Finance 2009-10: Budget Cataclysm and its Aftermath


Trying to make sense of the 2009-10 education budget and a year when everything went topsy turvey?

This 20-page report looks at how California got to this point and leads you through the cuts, funding delays, and policy changes that lawmakers implemented in 2009 to address a state budget crisis that just kept getting worse. It also explains the impact on local education agencies, including the changed rules around many K-12 programs such as Class Size Reduction.

Some key messages from the report:

  • California has struggled with creating sound state budgets since the early 2000s, so the national economic downturn hit the state particularly hard.
  • K-12 spending cuts have been a major part of the budget solutions and were accompanied by substantive changes in how education funds are allocated, including some new flexibility.
  • Local school agencies must absorb funding cuts, address cash flow challenges, and plan carefully in order to avoid insolvency.
  • Going forward, Californians may either have to accept the "new normal" of continued education reductions or push for schools to be exempted from further cuts as another bad year begins.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at January 22, 2010 4:13 AM
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