Re: State Budget & Governor’s Proposed May Revision
Dear Senator/Assemblymember Last Name:
Over the past two months, Buckeye Union’s educators and staff have responded heroically to provide instruction and broader support to students and families, including over 50,000 meals to families in need. We are in good company with many Districts across California that have done the same. Now, it is your opportunity to support our efforts to reopen schools.
As budget deliberations unfold, it is imperative that public schools be funded at a level that allows for us to reopen safely and to adequately address the academic and social-emotional needs of our students who have been out of school since early March. Please support public education by improving the Governor’s May Revision and funding our schools in a manner that reflects the real value supporting our students has for our State’s future.
Please Oppose Cuts to LCFF & Categoricals
The Governor’s proposed cuts to the LCFF and remaining categorical programs will diminish the ability of Districts to safely reopen schools and will have dramatic impacts on educational quality across our State for years to come. To safely reopen schools, LEAs will need even more funding than in prior years as fixed costs continue to rise along with costs associated with social distancing, distance learning and keeping students and employees safe and healthy. The proposed cuts would inhibit necessary investments in these areas and cuts of this magnitude would force districts, like Buckeye Union, to reduce staffing and cut programs critical to safely reopening schools and affect the health and well-being of students.
Distribute Federal Funds Fairly – Expand Distribution & Spending Flexibility
Under the Governor’s May Revision, districts, including Buckeye Union do not benefit from the majority of the federal funds already received by the State, as $2.9 billion is proposed to be distributed only to school districts that generate concentration grant funding. The proposed allocation method does not acknowledge the fact that all districts face significant cost pressures associated with reopening schools and will need financial assistance. The federal funds should be provided to all districts in a manner that allows maximum spending flexibility.
Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Non-Proposition 98 funding should be utilized to purchase PPE for schools as education funding should be reserved for meeting the educational needs of students. To this end, the state should either use its purchasing power to procure PPE for schools or provide non-Prop. 98 funding to districts to allow for the purchase of PPE.
Support Pension Relief
I do support the Governor’s proposal to use $2.3 billion in non-Proposition 98 funds to buy down pension costs would provide critical relief to one of LEAs’ biggest cost pressures. The proposal would allow for local funds to be redirected to areas that will directly support students.
Support Special Education (SPED) Base Augmentation
For many years, special education funding has not kept pace with rising costs. The Governor’s proposal to allocate $645 million to augment SPED base funding will provide greater funding equity to districts and ensure LEAs are better resourced to serve students with exceptional needs.
Thank you for supporting our schools and community.
[First and Last Name]