The annual California budget cycle begins anew tomorrow as Governor Jerry Brown unveils his proposed spending plan.
As part of his budget, the governor is expected to propose major changes to the state’s education funding system.
They include removing state spending requirements so districts have more flexibility, and introducing a weighted funding formula that gives more money to schools in poorer areas.
Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell says he could support that proposal with some adjustments – such as making sure all schools get a minimum amount of money.
“And then after that threshold and only after that threshold do we begin to employ the weighted formula to the lower, impoverished schools – because right now, frankly, all school systems are suffering from being under-funded,” says Gorell.
Many Democrats and education groups are more skeptical. They blocked a similar proposal from the governor last year.
As for the budget itself, the non-partisan legislative analyst’s office projects the state faces a $2 billion deficit. That’s well below the $25 billion gap from two years ago.