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JLAC March 2015 Meeting and Legislative Update

Jeff Frost participated by conference call at the March JLAC meeting.  Following are some updates and links to resources regarding items discussed at the meeting.

Career Technical Education

      The Governor proposed $250M/year for 3 years for career tech education matching grants:

  • Spending within context of CTE moving forward
  • Can the program be sustained after state funding lapses in 3 years
  • Goal is to have this serve as a jump start in funding until district reach the LCAP target for 9-12 CTE allocation
  • This will only help a small number of districts

      Adult Education:

  • $500M ongoing adult education to restructure
  • Creating new program jointly at regional level, there are structural concerns that advocacy groups are working to amend.
  • The Governor is proposing to have a 7 member regional board for budgeting and financial decisions including district, community college, WIB, probation, social services, private sector; several Board members who are not related to education.

School Bonds/Facilities

It appears that there is little support in the Legislature for the elimination of state bonds for school facilities.  If a state bond were to go on the ballot, it would be difficult to pass if the ballot included an extension of Proposition 30.

May Revision

  • State revenues are up between $1-2B primarily in capital gains (one time funds)
  • Discussions have begun for budgeting these one-time funds
  • Interests include preschool and child care
  • The main issue is protecting Prop 98 integrity to focus on educational programs, not social service/health programs
  • The Ed Coalition is working on a document for the Legislature that argues for protecting integrity of Prop 98 and highlights areas where funding could be allocated including:
    • Common Core
    • SBAC
    • Home to School Transportation Expansion

Discussion of Bills   

  • SB 597 (Huff) Reauthorization of Districts of Choice - 1 year extension
    • This is a controversial program and there are concerns about cherry picking students to increase scores.  Data has not been collected to assess program yet, the extension would provide time to prepare the data.  If not passed the law will sunset in July 2016.
    • More information including were also provided below.
  • Bruce Abbott distributed a draft schedule of JLAC meeting dates for 2015-16 which proposed moving the meeting to the second Wednesday of the month. 
  • Bruce reviewed the process for JLAC reviewing bills.  Generally, JLAC doesn't endorse bills because of the challenges related to getting Board approval from all districts.  Members can share information and suggest endorsement by districts. JLAC is primarily a sounding board.
  • Repeal of the District Reserve Cap
    • Suggested that Ken collect district resolutions and send to CSBA, local legislators
    • Derek Knell suggested/encouraged districts to pass a resolution supporting the repeal of the law. Most districts indicated that they had passed a resolution.

  • Marc Levine's office reported that Assembly Member Levine met with the Governor and Kristen Olsen regarding the repeal of the reserve cap.  Marc feels that the budget is the place to fix the issue.  There may be something in the May revision.
    • There was a discussion concerning a possible compromise related to a minimum level of ADA (1,000).  JLAC responded that districts are not interested in a compromise.
    • Marc doesn't believe that a total repeal is possible
  • Mike McGuire's office reported that he is sympathetic to school position on reserve caps. 
    • Greg Knell - Suggested working with CSBA to align the argument and draft resolutions.  CSBA wants to expand eligibility for the funds
    • Replace old in small districts, disadvantaged students
    • ADA 2,501 or less and 50% free/reduced
    • McGuire is looking for endorsements for SB 148 - CTE funds
    • SB 523 - School bus replacement
    • Greg Knell reported that the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce is looking at passing a resolution in support of common core standards and would encourage local chambers to do the same in response to pressure on chambers from opponents of the Governor. The Tea Party is pressuring chambers align against common core (government takeover).