Impact of Brown's Budget on Arts Ed in California

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 9:55am

Photo: Governor Jerry BrownOriginally published by California Alliance for Arts Education

Governor’s Budget Favors Local Autonomy and Eliminates Most Categorical Funding

The Governor’s budget proposal, released last week, includes major changes to K-12 education finance. The proposal gives local districts greater flexibility and autonomy in how they use state funds, putting more decisions in the hands of local school boards, with fewer state restrictions and requirements. According to an analysis of the proposed budget by Alliance Lobbyist Kathy Lynch, the Governor’s proposal,

“Provides $1.6 billion for the 'Local Control Funding Formula'. The proposal is largely the same as Weighted Student Formula proposed last year in that the Administration proposes to eliminate the majority of categorical programs, consolidate funding with revenue limit apportionments, and provide funding through a new formula that will be phased in over a period of seven years. The proposal will be coupled with a system of accountability measures both at the state and local level.”

The elimination of categoricals may further distance school districts from a specific requirement to fund arts education activities. In districts where categorical funds designated for arts education were being used for that purpose, this could lead cash-strapped districts to the reduce funding for arts education programs. It will be important for local advocates to be track how districts intend to fund arts education if these changes are enacted.

With more and more funding decision in the hands of local districts, the Alliance has developed resources to support local arts education advocacy efforts:  Visit the Make the Case To your School Board toolkit in CAAE's Action Center. It provides information on making a school board presentation, inviting an elected official to your arts classroom and much more. Click here.