Friday, June 5, 2009

Conference Committee Actions on K-12 Education

Day 9 of the Conference Committee focused on K-12 education. We discussed many items on our lengthy agenda which lists 24 pages of budget proposals currently under consideration, such as:
· Cutting nearly $3.5 billion in K-12 revenue limit funding;
· Eliminating special funds for student transportation;
· Suspending most K-14 education mandates; and
· Giving school districts the discretion to shorten the school year by 7.5 days.

What would these proposals mean? California drops towards the bottom of states in providing resources to education. Children in rural communities have a harder time getting to school because school busses may stop running. And, our schools have less time to educate students and put them on a path to succeed in our increasingly competitive global economy.

We also approved numerous items relating to the K-12 education budget, most with a unanimous vote. A sample of these actions includes:
· $2.7 million shifted from the Teacher Credentials Fund to the General Fund; and
· Making technical adjustments of federal funds in budget, such as:
· $1.13 million decrease from health and tobacco prevention education for students;
· $9.4 million in augmentations for local assistance to child nutrition programs; and
· $2.3 million increase to Safe and Drug Free Schools Program.

In other words, we acted on the items detailed on pages 12, and 20-30 of the agenda. A full copy of the agenda is available on the Assembly Budget Committee website at under the “Conference Agenda” tab.