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School districts revise budgets after passage of new funding formula

New funding formula changes things for some local districts

Posted: August 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The passage of the state budget, and with it sweeping changes to how the state school system is funded, has left some local districts facing revenue projections markedly different than originally expected.

School district budgets are examined and revised every year after the state budget is passed, according to officials, because school districts have to finalize their budgets before the state does.

An added wrinkle this year is the passage of the Local Control Funding Formula, a policy push by Gov. Jerry Brown that changes the way schools receive money from the state and allots additional funding to schools based on their proportion of students who are English-language learners, live in foster care or live under the poverty line.

The Local Control Funding Formula had not been approved by the state Legislature by the time local districts passed their budgets, meaning most districts had to revise their revenue to reflect the changes.

The Newhall School District stands to see about $1.4 million more from the state this year as a result of the funding formula changes, according to district Superintendent Marc Winger.

The Saugus Union School District will also see more revenue than originally projected, according to Superintendent Joan Lucid and information posted on the district’s website.

The William S. Hart Union High School District saw its projected revenue fall by about 2.7 million this year as a result of implementation of the new funding formula.

But both Winger and Lucid said how districts can, or are allowed to use some money still remains unclear as the state has not unveiled some of the guidelines for the new formula.

“When you dig into the state funding changes you will find that no one – Sacramento or district people – know exactly how any of it is really going to work,” Winger wrote in an email. “It will be mid-year at best before we know details.”

The Sulphur Springs School District did not see any substantive changes to its projections after the state budget was passed, according to Lynn David, assistant superintendent of business services for the district.

“We’re always required to look at the budget,” David said. “But the changes we saw this year weren’t big enough to require a revision.”
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