Monday, December 19, 2016

Brown exploring if new bond measure can be divvied up differently | EdSource

Brown exploring if new bond measure can be divvied up differently | EdSource:

Brown exploring if new bond measure can be divvied up differently



Gov. Jerry Brown hasn’t given up his quest to reform how the state allocates money for school construction, even though state voters last month approved a $9 billion school facilities bond that left the current funding system in place.
Brown opposed Proposition 51. He said the bond measure, which will add about $500 million to the $2.4 billion the state’s already paying annually in interest and principal payments on past school bonds, was too large, and the process for divvying the money is too convoluted and stacked against small school districts and low-income communities.
Now that what he called a “blunderbuss effort” has passed, Brown wants to revise the funding distribution system to make Prop. 51 more efficient and fairer to districts that wouldn’t get a share of the money under the current first-come, first-served basis. That prospect is worrying the coalition of school districts and the construction industry behind Prop. 51; they believe Brown might use his influence to sit on the money or not release bonding for Prop. 51 at all.
The spokesman for the state Department of Finance, which represents Brown on budget and fiscal matters, denies this will happen but confirmed that the Brown administration is exploring ways to carry out reforms.
The administration “will honor the commitment of voters and won’t sit on Prop. 51 by not issuing bonds,” said H.D. Palmer. “But the outcome of Prop. 51 did not change longstanding concerns for school financing in the state. The administration will engage with stakeholders to move forward on issues Gov. Brown has identified.”
But others predict that Brown will find that, for now, he’ll be able to change the system only at the margins. Prop. 51’s sponsor, California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing, or CASH, crafted the initiative’s language explicitly to tie the distribution formula to existing law (the sections of the Leroy F. Greene School Brown exploring if new bond measure can be divvied up differently | EdSource:

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