Board of Education | State of California Halts Budget Cuts

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | News | South Pasadena Unified School District Headquarters

Governor Gavin Newsom and the California legislature have agreed to halt proposed education cuts, according to the Los Angeles Times

Though the official budget has not been released to the public, sources tell the Times that Newsom and the California legislature agreed on halting a proposed $8 billion cut to the state’s K-12 schools and community colleges in anticipation of increased federal funding and state tax revenue. Last week’s proposed budget would have cut $4.4 million from the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) for the upcoming school year. 

“The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused a sudden and dramatic change in our nation’s and state’s economic outlook – and has had a cascading effect on our state budget,” said Newsom and other Democratic legislators in a statement released by the Governor’s office Monday morning. 

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“This agreement reflects our shared commitment to supporting schools, and is built on a foundation of equity – allocating billions of dollars for students most affected by learning loss and continuing our state’s leadership toward reforming the criminal justice system.”

The district presented a revised budget plan to the SPUSD Board of Education last week that recommended layoffs to district staff to close the anticipated budget gap. A vote was expected to take place this week on the revised budget, though it is now unclear how the state’s agreement will affect the district’s financial outlook. 

The agreement in Sacramento could allow schools to operate with the same budget they had expected to operate with before the pandemic, but some details may complicate the process beyond 2020. Since the budget spreads out the state’s funding over many years, schools may have to borrow money or defer payments to cover costs beyond the upcoming school year, as many did following the 2008 Financial Crisis. 

There is also speculation the revised budget would disallow layoffs for the upcoming school year, as detailed by EdSource. Though it is unclear whether the legislature agreed on that trade-off, it would likely affect the district’s proposed layoff plan. 

‘The SPUSD Board of Education will meet Tuesday, June 23rd, from 6:30-8:30 PM. Remote attendance will be available to the public online.