As schools, families, and students throughout the State of California continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) has introduced three bills to help school districts with the necessary funding to deal with this ongoing crisis.
These bills will seek to hold school districts fiscally harmless from short-term attendance declines due to the pandemic, provide greater fiscal stability by calculating average daily attendance (ADA) based on a three-year average, and increase the base grant portion of the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to give all school districts greater flexibility with their local spending priorities to deal with this pandemic.
“Our schools, our families, and our children are dealing with unprecedented challenges during this ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” said Muratsuchi. “We need to do everything we can to support them. School districts should be held fiscally harmless from short-term attendance declines as more and more students are getting sick. School districts also need greater fiscal stability during these uncertain times by calculating ADA funding based on a three-year average.
“Finally, school districts throughout the state – urban, rural, and suburban – having been calling for years for an increase in base grant funding that will benefit and provide greater flexibility to all school districts throughout the state, because every community in the state is struggling with this pandemic and the costs associated with it. An increase in the base grant will trigger an increase in the supplemental and concentration grants of the LCFF, so every district will benefit from this proposal.”
Specifically, the bills propose:
• AB 1607: Starting with the 2022-23 school year, the ADA shall be calculated based on a three-year average daily attendance for the current fiscal year and each of the previous two fiscal years.
• AB 1609: For the 2022-23 fiscal year, school districts will be held harmless for ADA loss for purposes of state funding.
• AB 1614: This bill adds $4.2 billion into the current base grant funding, using the existing Local Control Funding Formula, for the 2022-2023 budget year, with intent language that the Legislature strive to reach the top ten states in the country in K-12 per pupil spending.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recently projected optimistic state general fund revenue collection data significantly higher than June 2021 estimates. The LAO’s K-14 Fiscal Outlook estimates the Proposition 98 guarantee in 2022-23 will be $11.6 billion, or 12.4 percent, higher than the 2021-22 State Budget, with an additional $9.5 billion available for ongoing priorities that can be used to address challenges our students and school districts are facing.