May 9, 2014
On Thursday May 8th the Senate Budget Subcommittee #1 on Education held a hearing that included the Governor’s budget proposals on Proposition 39, the School Facilities Program (SFP), and the Emergency Repair Program (ERP). The following is a summary of these budget items that were discussed in committee, as well as C.A.S.H.’s testimony on each item.
The Governor’s 2014-15 budget estimates $726 million in Proposition 39 revenue ($363 million for K-12 schools and community colleges), which is a $101 million reduction from the current-year (2013-14) funding level due to lower projected tax revenues than assumed in the 2013-14 budget. On behalf of C.A.S.H. Ian Padilla testified that if additional one-time funds become available in the May Revision Proposition 39 funding should be restored to 2013-14 funding levels.
School Facilities Program
The Governor 2014-15 budget proposes to transfer $211 million from four specialized school facility programs (Seismic Mitigation Program, High-Performance Incentive Grant Program, Overcrowding Relief Grant, Career Technical Education) to the New Construction and Modernization programs. On behalf of C.A.S.H. Rebekah Cearley testified in opposition to the proposed transfer of funds, arguing that districts continue to submit projects to these programs (including the Seismic Mitigation Program), that the Overcrowded Relief Grant and Career Technical Education programs are both over-subscribed, and that any remaining fund balances for these programs are the result of the administrative fund allocation process and do not represent bond authority.
Emergency Repair Program
The Governor 2014-15 budget proposes a one-time appropriation of $188.1 million in Proposition 98 funds to the Emergency Repair Program. On behalf of C.A.S.H. Ian Padilla testified in strong support of the Governor’s proposal to dedicate $188.1 million toward approved-but-unfunded Emergency Repair Program projects, arguing that many districts have proceeded with Emergency Repair Program projects based on the state’s commitment to reimburse them, often utilizing other capitol sources of funding as a bridge.