On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown made his 2015-2016 California State Budget Proposal. Any and all friends of public education must be encouraged.
K-12 education would receive $4 Billion more in 2015-16 than was expected when the Local Control Funding Formula was adopted in 2013-2014. Education funding in California is proposed to be 8.7% higher than in the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Governor Brown’s proposal suggests that education dollars will be plentiful contrasted with the dark years of 2009 through 2012 when California schools, students, and employees absorbed 20 Billion dollars of cuts.
Furthermore in a general sense, data from the California State Controller’s office shows state revenue to be $ 3 Billion dollars ahead of estimates for the first half of the fiscal year.
Districts such as TVUSD should be pointing upward in revenue projections. This newly vested school board will have the opportunity to authorize the utilization of fiscal resources TVUSD has not seen in years.
Last spring and summer through a protracted tumultuous negotiations period, TVEA addressed the governing board at each and every meeting and suggested our elected state government was determined to plug the previous funding gap with new monies. TVEA leaders urged the elected board to adopt state agency projections of 20.68 % of the gap funding. For months, the board chose to remain steadfast to the 7.8% as suggested by the TVUSD Department of Business Support Services. The 2015-16 Governor’s proposal clearly suggests that the state should fund more than 32% of the previous funding gap.
While TVEA accepts that the district has a fiduciary responsibility to be fiscally wise and maintain solvency, we hope that the district and board will accept the Governor’s proposal as yet another sign of optimism in the education funding picture.
As board members who represent the community, we trust that you will ask the tough questions, seek multiple sources of information, and place value in adjusting compensation and benefits to make a career teacher in Temecula equal or higher to neighboring districts. It is in the best interest of the Temecula educational community to invest in attracting and retaining the highest quality of teachers to our district.