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Legislative Advocacy

2020-21 Budget Update September 2020: Growth Funding to be Provided for Many Charters

Senate Bill (SB) 820 passed the legislature on August 31, 2020. SB 820 amends several sections of the law related to the 2020-21 state budget that were originally enacted in SB 98, the Education Trailer Bill to the 2020-21 budget. Most notably, SB 820 contains a new funding process for classroom-based schools to receive targeted Growth Funding. Here is CCSA’s summary of the most significant changes in SB 820 that may impact charter school funding and operations in the 2020-21 school year.

No LCFF Cuts, But Extensive Payment Deferrals in 2020-21 Budget

On June 29, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Budget Act for the 2020-21 fiscal year and the implementing Trailer Bill legislation. The budget is a $202.1 billion spending plan that closes a $54.3 billion budget shortfall caused by the COVID-19 recession. Read CCSA’s Budget Brief here.

According to the Department of Finance, “at the Governor's Budget in January, the state was projecting a surplus of $5.6 billion. At the May Revision, the state confronted a budget deficit of $54.3 billion—a four-month swing of $60 billion caused by the COVID-19 Recession. The budget closes this gap and brings the state’s resources and spending into balance while preserving reserves for future years.”

For K-12 education programs, the budget includes total funding of $98.8 billion ($48.1 billion General Fund and $50.7 billion other funds). Due to declining revenue, the constitutional Proposition 98 guarantee level for 2020-21 is $70.9 billion- more than $10 billion below the minimum guarantee at the 2019 Budget Act. However, the budget offsets this loss by deferring $12.9 billion in payments into the next fiscal year to preserve programs and includes $5.3 billion to mitigate learning loss and support the immediate needs of students and schools.

The considerable uncertainty caused by the COVID pandemic and the associate fiscal crisis will require close attention to several issues that may affect the budget during the year, and amendments are expected to remove or modify a cap on school growth funding.  CCSA will do everything we can to support you through this time, and keep you updated as circumstances change.

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