2016-17 Budget Proposal
Governor Jerry Brown has released his proposal for the 2016-17 California State Budget, and it looks like it will be another good year for education. Specifically, the Governor is proposing to allocate $2.8 billion in additional money to finance the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). 
 

Three years ago, Governor Brown proposed to radically change the current funding model for K-12 education, which was comprised of a combination of revenue limit and categorical funding. In its place, the LCFF sought to (1) simplify the K-12 funding formula, (2) redistribute funds to local education agencies (LEA) with higher concentrations of disadvantaged students, (3) give LEAs more control over these funds at the local level and (4) restore funding back to pre-recession levels.

From a numbers perspective, the LCFF established a target funding amount for most LEAs that exceeded the total revenue limit and categorical funding for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Governor Brown knew that the State could not fully fund the LCFF during the first year of implementation (2013-14), but he proposed to have the LCFF fully funded over an eight year period (full implementation by 2020-21) although county offices were put on an accelerated schedule. Based on the 2016-17 budget proposal, the LCFF implementation continues to be well ahead of schedule with regards districts and charter schools (95% funded 4 years after implementation) while county offices are already fully funded.

While the economic outlook in 2016-17 for K-12 education as a whole continues to remain positive, the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE) is not expected to receive any noticeable increase in funds next fiscal year. As mentioned previously, while the LCFF sets higher target funding levels for most LEAs, there are some districts, charter schools and county offices that have LCFF funding targets that fall below the actual funding amounts received during the 2012-13 fiscal year. County offices, including VCOE, are particularly affected by this as a result of having a disproportionately large amount of categorical funding (i.e. Career Education and Induction programs) in comparison to districts and charter schools.

A hold-harmless provision was included as part of the State’s 2013-14 Budget Act that allowed affected LEAs to receive funding on par with the total revenue limit and categorical funding received in 2012-13 with adjustments being made only in the case of declining enrollment. While VCOE continues to receive LCFF revenues at the same level as its 2012-13 revenue limit and categorical funding, the reality is that VCOE will likely remain at its hold-harmless funding level for the foreseeable future unless the State provides new funding outside of the LCFF or fundamentally changes the LCFF formula to allow LEAs that are in hold-harmless status to obtain additional funding. The effects of VCOE’s hold-harmless funding will become more pronounced especially as costs associated with healthcare and retirement rise in addition to the expected increase in the cost of living. However, the focus for the current year and the upcoming 2016-17 fiscal year continues to be finding ways to maximize the use of VCOE’s existing funds while looking for new revenue streams to draw from.

Because VCOE’s scope of services is so broad, there is no one-size-fits-all plan for VCOE’s various departments and programs. As VCOE moves forward with the 2016-17 budget process, it will be important for department leaders and program managers to work closely with their respective budget managers to ensure that budgets for the upcoming fiscal year are in line with the expectations and vision of VCOE’s administrative leadership.



Documents

The 2016-17 Budget Outline provides a summary of the Governor’s 2016-17 budget proposal and is filtered down to data that is most relevant to VCOE. It is by no means comprehensive. In particular, the 2016-17 budget outline goes over the general details of the proposed budget including the national and state economic outlook, the major relevant components of the Governor's budget, and the LCFF calculation as it relates to VCOE. If there are any questions about the Governor's 2016-17 budget proposal in general or the LCFF, please contact Tom Etchart or Rudy Calasin. For any specific questions about your program's 2016-17 budget, please contact your respective budget manager.

The other four documents provide background or supporting documentation for the 2016-17 budget. If you have any questions about the content on this webpage or any of these documents, please feel free to contact your budget manager. 

 

Sources

Finally, the following links provide much more detail regarding the 2016-17 budget proposal including the source document itself as well as analysis of the budget proposal from several well-respected agencies. Most of the data provided in the 2016-17 budget outline came from the following sources.

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