By Anita Avrick, Education Legislation Advocate
AB 1614 (Muratsuchi)
It’s Time to Raise the Base Grant
California State PTA supports increasing school funding for all students. Our students deserve adequate funding for a full curriculum. AB 1614 (Muratsuchi) would raise the amount of money used as a base grant in California’s public school funding formula. California State PTA has voted to sponsor this bill.
In 2013-14, California enacted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which is how schools are allocated money in California. LCFF is intended to provide school districts with greater discretion in using their funds to educate students while providing an emphasis on additional resources for those with greater needs.
In the 2018-19 Budget, LCFF was fully funded. However, California was still below average per-pupil funding rates when compared with other states. There is still inadequate funding of the base to cover rising fixed costs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, greater flexibility is now needed by local school districts to focus on sustaining and expanding a student-centered recovery. All school districts will benefit from base grant increases.
Currently, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) states that there will be an additional $8.4 billion available for ongoing K-12 priorities that can be used to address changes school districts and our students are facing. In addition, in the Governor’s proposed budget for the year 2022-23, $102 billion for Proposition 98 funding includes $3.3 billion in Proposition 98 funding for LCFF, but no additional funding for the base grants.
AB 1614 takes $4.2 billion (half of the estimated Proposition 98 increase) and adds it into the LCFF above the statutory Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for the 2022-23 budget year. The base rates would increase by about $3.4 billion and would also provide increases of the supplemental and concentration grant by roughly $750 million each. The goal is to bring California into the top ten states in the country for K-12 per-pupil spending.