Statement from Ryan J. Smith on the Final 2018-19 California State Budget


In response to Governor Jerry Brown signing the final 2018-19 California state budget, Ryan J. Smith, executive director of Ed Trust–West and vice president of Ed Trust, issued the following statement:


Higher Education

“We celebrate the fact that the 2018-19 state budget includes a new Student Centered Funding Formula for community colleges that allocates resources based on student need and incentivizes programs and practices that increase student success and completion. Governor Brown, Chancellor Oakley, and the State Legislature made the right move for college students and Ed Trust–West applauds their leadership in this area. We were proud to stand with the dozens of civil rights, student leadership, and other advocacy organizations that championed this initiative. By funding colleges based not only on how many students they enroll, but also based on student needs and colleges’ success in supporting students, our state has the potential to close equity gaps within our educational institutions. As the new formula takes effect, we look forward to working with key stakeholders to ensure it is implemented with fidelity.


K-12 Education

We appreciate that the final budget also includes an increase of $3.7 billion for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), reaching initial funding targets two years ahead of schedule. The budget also allocates one-time funding for low-performing students not already receiving supplemental funding under LCFF, a proposal based on AB 2635, a bill put forth this year by Assemblymember Shirley Weber and featured as one of Ed Trust–West’s eight equity related legislative proposals to watch. In addition, the budget provides funding to improve community engagement in the LCAP process, funding to support school district improvement, and a commitment to take steps to improve school district budget transparency and LCAP accessibility. Ed Trust–West urges state leaders to ensure that the funds generated by our most in-need students are going to programs and services that support their success. We stand ready to help the state develop transparency and accessibility tools that truly meet the needs of local LCFF stakeholders.

This year’s state budget is a step in the right direction. As California elects the next group of state leaders this November, we are eager to continue to fight to ensure that our budget is a reflection of our state’s values and prioritizes students of color and low income students K – college.”


The State Budget Process

Each year the Governor and the Legislature develop the state’s budget. Policymakers’ decisions during this process have a ripple effect across every aspect of state government, including California’s early, K-12, and higher education systems.

  1. In January of each year, the Governor proposes a state budget for the following fiscal year that begins on July 1st.
  2. In the spring, the Legislature holds hearings on parts of the proposed budget.
  3. In May, the Governor revises the proposed budget according to updated state revenues received in April. The revised budget is called the May Revision or “May Revise”.
  4. The Legislature may add to, or change, the Governor’s proposals and differences between proposals are negotiated as the final budget takes shape in the Legislature. The Legislature also develops and passes “trailer bills,” which direct the budget’s implementation. The Legislature must adopt the final budget by June 15th.
  5. Finally, the Governor signs the budget, and has the discretion to reduce or eliminate any expenditure by line-item veto.

Final 2018-19 State Budget At A Glance

K-12 Education

  • LCFF: The Budget provides an additional $3.7 billion for LCFF, fully implementing the formula 2 years ahead of schedule.
  • Lowest Performing Students: The Budget provides a one-time allocation of $300 million to serve students who meet the criteria of low-performing. This item is based on AB 2635 (Weber), a bill identified as a priority by The Education Trust—West.
  • Community Engagement Initiative: The Budget provides $13.3 million in one-time funds to create the Community Engagement Initiative. The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence and a lead county office of education will use the funds to develop best practices for school districts to engage with local communities, specifically in the development of Local Control and Accountability Plans and improving student outcomes.
  • Fiscal Transparency: The Budget provides $200,000 in one-time funds to develop the electronic template for the LCFF Budget Summary for Parents and an additional $200,000 in one-time funds to support intended future legislation to streamline the LCAP.
  • School Climate: The Budget provides $15 million in one-time funds to expand the state’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support framework and disseminate best practices to foster positive school climate.
  • System of Support: The Budget provides the following for the state system of supports for local education agencies
    • $57.8 million to county offices of education to provide technical assistance to school districts, of which $4 million will go towards regional leads to build systemwide capacity to support school districts;
    • $11.5 million to the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) to support the CCEE in its work within the system of supports; and
    • $300,000 to improve the user interface of the California School Dashboard.
  • One-Time Discretionary Funding: The Budget provides $1.1 billion in one-time discretionary funds to school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education. All of the funds provided will offset any applicable mandate reimbursement claims for these entities.
  • Teacher Recruitment: The Budget provides $75 million in one-time funds for locally sponsored teacher residency programs, with $50 million aimed at preparing and retaining special education teachers and $25 million aimed at bilingual and science, technology, engineering, and math teachers. The Budget also provides an additional $50 million in one-time funds for competitive grants to local education agencies to develop and implement new, or expand existing, locally identified solutions that address a local need for special education teachers.

Higher Education

  • California Community College Student-Centered Formula: The Budget provides $522.8 million to implement a new student-centered funding formula in the California Community Colleges. The formula will be phased in over three years, by first providing 70% enrollment-based funding, 20% supplemental funding based on the enrollment of low-income students, and 10% funding based on student success metrics. Over a three-year period the formula will shift to 60% enrollment-based funding, 20% funding based on the enrollment of low-income students, and 20% funding based on student success metrics. The formula includes a hold-harmless provision that will guarantee all colleges receive no less funding than they received in 2017-18 and a cost-of-living increase for three years.
  • California College Promise: The Budget provides $46 million to implement the California College Promise (AB 19). This funding could be used by California community colleges to waive fees for first-time, full-time students, or to advance other important policy goals such as increasing college readiness among high school students, increasing the number of students who transfer to a UC or CSU campus, or eliminating achievement gaps for underrepresented student groups.
  • Online Community College: The Budget provides $100 million in one-time funds and $20 million in ongoing funds to create an online college to be administered by the California Community College Board of Governors. The new college will develop courses and programs that lead to short-term credentials and certifications.
  • Cal Grant Awards for Private Non-Profit / For-Profit Institutions: The Budget provides $8.1 million to maintain the maximum Cal Grant award at $9,084 for students attending private, non-profit institutions accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and requires these institutions to enroll more transfer students from the California Community Colleges beginning in 2019-20.
  • UC and CSU Fees: The Budget provides an additional $92.1 million each in base funding to UC and CSU to eliminate the need for a fee increase across both systems in 2018-19.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.