Subject: Studies in the News 05-27 (August 19, 2005)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News:
Education Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Results from public education reform
   Sources of school finance
   School systems sinking into debt
   Evolution of school funding
   Proposition 98 and K-14 education
   Categorical school finances
   School finance litigation
   Funding and flexibility in school finance
   Understanding school district budgets
   Audit of school spending
   Education revenues and expenditures
   Rethinking how California funds schools
   School funding adequacy lawsuits
   Funding gap among schools
   Taxation and education spending
   States losing unspent education funds
   Transforming educational data
   Linking funds to educational results
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, 2004-2005
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EDUCATION

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program Summary of Results. By the California Department of Education. (The Department, Sacramento, California) August 2005. 22 p.

Full Text at: www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr05/documents/star1.pdf

["Latest Scores Show School Reforms are Working: This year's scores show impressive one-year gains in the students' performance meeting English and math standards." Commentary by Daniel Weintraub in Sacramento Bee (August 18, 2005) B7.]

[Request #S52717]

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SCHOOL FINANCE

School Finance Highlights: 2004-05. By EdSource. (EdSource, Palo Alto, California) November 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.edsource.org/pdf/schfinhighlights04.pdf

[“This summary highlights the sources of public school funding such as the state budget, local property taxes, and the federal government.... California's continuing financial difficulties led to the suspension of Proposition 98's minimum funding guarantee for public education. But despite the suspension, school districts will receive a slight increase in funding over last year."]

[Request #S52701]

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Public Education Finances. By U.S. Census Bureau. (The Bureau, Washington, DC) March 2005. 129 p.

Full Text at: ftp2.census.gov/govs/school/03f33pub.pdf

["The nation's public school systems are sinking further into debt, the Census Bureau reported. They were saddled with over $250 billion in red ink in the 2002-03 school year, up 11 percent from the previous year." Associated Press (March 17, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52702]

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School Finance in California and the Proposition 98 Guarantee. By California Budget Project. (The Project, Sacramento, California) April 2005. 7 p.

Full Text at: www.cbp.org/2005/0504bb_prop98.pdf

["This paper examines the history of school finance prior to Proposition 98, the provisions of Proposition 98, the law's implementation and effects, the Governor's proposed changes to the law, and the current status of California's school funding."]

[Request #S52703]

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Proposition 98 Primer. By Robert Manwaring, Legislative Analyst's Office. (The Office, Sacramento, California) 2005. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.lao.ca.gov/2005/prop_98_primer/prop_98_primer_020805.pdf

["[Proposition 98] which was later amended by Proposition 111, establishes a minimum annual funding level for K-14 schools.... This primer provides some basic information on Proposition 98 and how it has affected spending on K-14 education."]

[Request #S52704]

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Categorical School Finance: Who Gains, Who Loses? By Thomas B. Timar. Policy Analysis for California Education. (PACE, Davis, California) 2004. 25 p.

Full Text at: education.ucdavis.edu/research/downloads/Timar_School_Finance.pdf

[“Under an unfair hodgepodge of funding programs for California schools, the rich just get richer, according to a study…. Almost a third of all state spending on public schools -- nearly $13 billion -– is allocated through 124 ‘categorical aid programs.’... The two year study of the arcane world of school finance uncovered what some had suspected but never detailed: The state’s 30–year effort to equalize funding by sending new dollars to programs for low-performing students, is often co-opted by a variety of interest groups.” UC Davis Magazine (Winter 2005) 6.]

[Request #S52705]

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School Finance Litigation and Beyond. By Michael Griffin. Education Commission of the States. (The Commission, Denver, Colorado) April 2005. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/60/26/6026.htm

["Over the past 10 years a number of school funding court cases have produced major changes in state education policy around the country. These cases have drawn significant attention from both policymakers and the media.... School finance litigation has forced states to not only change the way they fund schools but to improve and update their states’ assessment and accountability systems." Public Education Network Weekly (April 29, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52706]

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Revenue and Limits: A Guide to School Finance in California. By Paul Goldfinger. (School Services of California, Sacramento, California) 2004.

["This guide ... updates the latest information on Proposition 98, revenue limits, K-3 class-size reduction, special education, transportation funding [and] budget flexibility." Publisher's Announcement (2004) 1. NOTE: Revenue and Limits ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S52707]

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Understanding School District Budgets: A Guide for Local Leaders. By EdSource. (EdSource, Palo Alto, California) 2005. 24 p.

[“This booklet provides an overview of the mechanics of the budget process and the documents most commonly used to describe a district’s financial condition.... Finally, this report explores some ways that budget information can help decision makers evaluate how well district spending matches educational goals, set priorities consistent with those goals, and plan expenditures that are aligned with that vision."]

[Request #S52708]

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Annual Financial Report of California K-12 Schools: Report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. By the California State Controller's Office. (The Office, Sacramento, California) June 2005. 35 p.

Full Text at: www.controller.ca.gov/aud/k-12audit/k-12aud.pdf

["California's school districts are spending more money than they receive from the state, with 16 Southland districts edging toward financial collapse, according to an audit.... The deficit was caused by 552 systems that overspent by about $692 million." Los Angeles Times (July 8, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52709]

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FAQ: What Accounts for the Difference Between Education Revenues and Expenditures. By EdSource. (EdSource, Palo Alto, California) November 2004. 1 p.

Full Text at: www.edsource.org/pdf/RevenueExpenditures.pdf

[“Figures for California's per-pupil education revenues and expenditures do not necessarily match, because they measure very different things. This brief one-pager clarifies what is included in each of these numbers and how they differ.”]

[Request #S52710]

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Rethinking How California Funds Its Schools. By EdSource. (EdSource, Palo Alto, California) May 2004.

[“This report sets out some possible goals for a California school finance system that could better support student performance. It also describes the key forces that will shape any debate about school finance reform in California and examines those in the context of some important aspects of an effective finance system. In the process, the report provides brief descriptions of the various initiatives underway in California and also looks at where the state might go from here.“ NOTE: Rethinking ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S52711]

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School Funding Adequacy Cases. By Michael Griffith and Molly Burke, Education Commission of the States. (The Commission, Denver, Colorado) 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/59/07/5907.htm

[“Adequacy lawsuits have been filed in 32 states. In 14 cases the courts found that the school funding system, in part or in whole, violated the state's constitution.... Six cases are still pending.... In Indiana a suit was filed but withdrawn prior to any court decision.”]

[Request #S52712]

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The Funding Gap 2004: Many States Sill Shortchange Low-income and Minority Students. By Kevin Carey, Education Trust. (The Trust, Washington, DC) 2004. 15 p.

Full Text at: www2.edtrust.org/NR/rdonlyres/30B3C1B3-3DA6-4809-AFB9-2DAACF11CF88/0/funding2004.pdf

[“Based on the most recent data, the majority of all states analyzed provide fewer dollars per student to their highest-poverty school districts than to their lowest-poverty districts. Most states also have a funding gap between the schools with the most minority students and those with the fewest….. [This report] outlines the basic proven policy reforms that states must enact to finally close their funding shortfalls.”]

[Request #S52713]

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Taxation and Spending Policies. By Education Commission of the States. (The Commission, Denver, Colorado) June 2004. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/52/94/5294.htm

[“Tax caps restrict the amount of taxes that the state, local governments and school districts may levy on taxpayers. These caps are often on property taxes; however, they can be on total taxes raised or even on other individual taxes. Another way to control tax levels is to limit how much state and local governments may spend in any given year. Spending caps often are limits on the increase in the amount of spending from one year to the next.”]

[Request #S52714]

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State Could Lose Unspent Education Funds. By Federal Funds Information for States. (FFIS, Washington, DC) June 14, 2005. 4 p.

["This issue brief discusses what money will become unavailable to states either for obligation or for expenditure, and what states can do to maximize current education funds and prevent future losses."]

[Request #S52715]

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SchoolMatters.com. By the National Education Data Partnership. Prepared for The Broad Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (The Foundation, Washington, DC) Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.SchoolMatters.com

["SchoolMatters.com is a project of the National Education Data Partnership, a collaboration created to help transform the way education information is used by educators.... SchoolMatters.com puts a world of educational data at the fingertips of educators and parents."]

[Request #S52716]

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Education Finance Litigation. By Sara Vitaska, National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL Legisbrief. Vol. 13, No. 26. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) June/July 2005. 2 p.

["Education finance litigation continues to be a significant challenge for states. Over the past three decades legal strategies have moved from equity to adequacy claims; education reforms have focused on accountability systems and the question of how to link funding to educational results has taken center stage. This year with at least 30 states considering major changes to the way they pay for education, state will likely continue to see more involvement by the courts."]

[Request #S52718]

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PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Education Supplement.]

School Finance IN: Studies in the News, 2004-2005.

[Includes: "Taxpayer's Guide to School Finance Reform;" "The Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team: Its Recommendations, If Implemented, Should Help Financially Troubled School Districts;" "Public-school Enrollment Falls: Drop in Orange County Students Creates Host of Problems for Districts that Are Losing State Funding as a Result;" "Enrollment Slipping in Sonoma County Schools: Fewer Students; Smaller Budgets to Follow, Superintendent Warns;" "Restructuring California's School Finance System;" "Investing in Learning;" "Title 1 Funds: Who's Gaining, Who's Losing and Why;" and others.]

[Request #S52719]

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