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|SENATE RULES COMMITTEE |AB 18|
|Office of Senate Floor Analyses | |
|1020 N Street, Suite 524| |
|(916) 651-1520 Fax: (916) | |
|327-4478 | |
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THIRD READING


Bill No: AB 18
Author: Brownley (D), et al.
Amended: 8/8/12 in Senate
Vote: 21


SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE : 6-2, 6/27/12
AYES: Lowenthal, Alquist, Liu, Price, Simitian, Vargas
NOES: Blakeslee, Huff
NO VOTE RECORDED: Runner, Hancock, Vacancy

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE : 5-2, 8/16/12
AYES: Kehoe, Alquist, Lieu, Price, Steinberg
NOES: Walters, Dutton

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 74-2, 6/1/11 - See last page for vote


SUBJECT : Education finance: California Task Force on
School Finance

SOURCE : Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom
Torlakson


DIGEST : This bill (1) establishes a 21-member California
Task Force on School Finance (Task Force) as of January 1,
2013, to review and analyze alternative formulas for
allocating funds to public schools in California for the
purpose of identifying and recommending a formula or
formulas that best meet the needs of California's public
school system and public school pupils. This bill
specifies criteria to be used by the Task Force to evaluate
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funding formulas. This bill provides that 10 of the
members of the Task Force will be appointed by the
Governor, five appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly,
five appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, and that the
Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) or his/her
designee will be a member of, and serve as chair of, the
Task Force; (2) specifies the qualifications of the
appointees, and provides for reimbursement for their
expenses in attending meetings;(3) requires that meetings
of the Task Force will be subject to specified open
meetings requirement; (4) requires the Task Force to report
its findings and recommendations to the Legislature on or
before April 1, 2013; (5) becomes operative only if the SPI
certifies, on or before January 31, 2013, that sufficient
nonstate funds are available for its implementation; and
(6) makes these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2013, and
repeals them as of January 1, 2014.

ANALYSIS :

Existing law:

1. Establishes the public school system in this state, and,
among other things, provides for the establishment of
school districts throughout the state and for their
provision of instruction at the public elementary and
secondary schools they operate and maintain.

2. Establishes a public school funding system that
includes, among other elements, the provision of funding
to local educational agencies through state
apportionments, the proceeds of property taxes collected
at the local level, and other sources.

This bill:

1. Establishes a 21-member Task Force as of January 1,
2013, to review and analyze alternative formulas for
allocating funds to public schools in California for the
purpose of identifying and recommending a formula or
formulas that best meet the needs of California's public
school system and public school pupils.

2. Specifies criteria to be used by the Task Force to

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evaluate funding formulas.

3. Provides that ten of the members of the Task Force will
be appointed by the Governor, five appointed by the
Speaker of the Assembly, five appointed by the Senate
Rules Committee, and that the Superintendent of Public
Instruction or his/her designee will be a member of, and
serve as chair of, the Task Force.

4. Specifies the qualifications of the appointees, and
provides for reimbursement for their expenses in
attending meeting, and requires that meetings of the
Task Force will be subject to specified open meetings
requirement.

5. Requires the Task Force to report its findings and
recommendations to the Legislature on or before April 1,
2013.

6. Makes these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2013.

7. Repeals them as of January 1, 2014.

Comments

According to the author's office, there is growing
consensus that the current system of allocating funds to
school districts is too complex and confusing, does a poor
job of matching resources to district needs, and restricts
the ability of local district officials to make budgetary
decisions that are in the best interests of their students.


This bill addresses these issues by putting most
categorical programs into one of four block grants. The
block grant approach simplified funding and gave districts
more flexibility over the use of categorical funds (i.e.,
extending much of the flexibility that is scheduled to
expire after 2013-14). It also provided a basis for
growing into a more equitable distribution of funds, based
on student demographics, over time.

In January, Governor Brown proposed a Weighted Pupil
Funding (WPF) formula as part of his budget proposal. That

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proposal would have collapsed nearly all categorical
program funding, along with revenue limit funding, into a
single formula containing a base amount of funding per
pupil, plus an additional "weighted" amount for English
learners and pupils from low income families. That
proposal, which was never put into bill form for
consideration by policy committees, raised a number of
policy questions regarding the proper amount for the base
grant and weights, which categorical programs (if any)
should be excluded from the formula, what restrictions (if
any) should be placed on the use of funds, the role of
accountability, etc.

Because the proposal was not submitted to the Legislature
as a bill, there was never a formal opportunity for
legislators and other interested parties to publicly
consider these issues. This bill, as amended, establishes
a process to do that as well as to consider alternative
approaches to reforming school finance. The intent of this
bill is to provide an opportunity for each house of the
Legislature, the Governor, the SPI and the public to engage
in conversations, consider options, and make
recommendations in time to inform legislation for possible
introduction in 2013.

This bill provides broader perspective, balance, insight,
and public input. This bill "provides state policymakers
with a comprehensive plan to reform the current education
finance system, to leverage and support pupil achievement
by making California's funding system simpler, more
transparent, and more effective. This bill intends to
bridge the gap between the academic conclusions of the
Getting Down to Facts studies and specific legislative
proposals. Historical discussions concerning the transition
from one funding scheme to another have generally focused
on making the change in one step, while sorting out those
winners that gain funding and those losers that receive
less funding. Major studies in the recent past have
addressed the need for school finance reform but the
current fiscal environment makes it virtually impossible to
undertake any major restructuring. Major revisions
undertaken with no additional funds, require that some
districts lose funding if others gain. Since studies agree
that all school districts are under financed -- in order

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for our state's pupil population to reach an academic
threshold of 800 as measured by the state's academic
performance index - it make sense to take funds for one
inadequately funded school(s) funding system in order to
try to improve or move to another.

FISCAL EFFECT : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: Yes
Local: No

SUPPORT : (Verified 8/16/12)

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson
(source)
California Association of School Business Officials
California Council for Adult Education
California State PTA
California Teachers Association
Public Advocates



ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 74-2, 6/1/11
AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall,
Bill Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford,
Brownley, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter,
Cedillo, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson,
Donnelly, Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani,
Beth Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gordon, Grove,
Hagman, Halderman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Roger
Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones,
Knight, Lara, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mansoor,
Miller, Mitchell, Monning, Morrell, Nestande, Nielsen,
Norby, Olsen, Pan, Perea, Portantino, Silva, Smyth,
Solorio, Torres, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams,
Yamada, John A. Pérez
NOES: Mendoza, Swanson
NO VOTE RECORDED: Buchanan, Gorell, V. Manuel Pérez,
Skinner


PQ:d 8/20/12 Senate Floor Analyses

SUPPORT/OPPOSITION: SEE ABOVE


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