By most accounts, California is thriving. Industries including entertainment, technology, real estate, and agriculture are flourishing, and state coffers are growing thanks to a booming economy and additional revenues raised by voters at the ballot box. At the same time, teachers are receiving only modest raises and district leaders are facing hard choices about which programs and services to cut. Why?
California school districts are facing budget challenges that have been well-documented by reports such as The Big Squeeze: How Unfunded Pension Costs Threaten Educational Equity, The Silent Recession, and Getting Down to Facts II. These budget challenges impact all students, and especially harm vulnerable students who are most in need of additional resources and opportunities. Recent funding increases have been outpaced by rising costs in pensions, health care, special education, and declining enrollment, in addition to other costs like school facilities and labor costs.
Two new case studies produced in partnership by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and Pivot Learning drill into how these budget pressures are playing out in Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) and in Marin county school districts.
“ Stakeholders must work together to address budget challenges. ”
These reports were published in partnership with Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).