May Revise offers hope to schools

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed Monday to increase the Proposition 98 guarantee to $52.4 billion next year, nearly $3 billion higher than what the Legislature approved in March.

If approved, this would be the highest Proposition 98 funding since 2007-08.

A $2.1 billion apportionment deferral has been eliminated.

Brown has proposed that the Legislature extend expiring tax measures before the end of the fiscal year and put the question before voters in the fall - thus all of his plan depends on those two actions.

The governor said that without the Legislature or the voters approving the tax extensions schools could still face a $5 billion reduction in an all-cuts budget.

The governor is projecting revenues will be $6.6 billion better than the January estimates, which means that with a $1.2 billion reserve - the remaining shortfall will be about $10.2 billion.

California's economy is growing, but we still face a $10 billion structural deficit and a wall of debt for years to come," said Brown. "California's finances were plunged into turmoil by the Great Recession and a decade of short-term fixes and fiscal gimmicks. This is not the time to delay or evade. This is the time to put our finances in order."

The May plan would, however, shift the responsibility for providing mental health services, including outâofâhome residential services, from county mental health agencies and county welfare agencies to school districts.

The plan also reflects the permanent repeal of the AB 3632 mandate and removes mental health services from the realignment proposal for counties.

The plan would eliminate funding for CALPADS by reducing $2.9 million federal Title VI funds and 5.3 positions to Department of Education and the suspension of funding for all CALPADS development.

There would also be an elimination of money for CALTIDES.

Brown also plans on eliminating 43 boards, commissions, task forces, offices and departments which he called "an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars," including eliminating the Departments of Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Programs.

He has also proposed merging the Healthy Families Program into the Medi-Cal program. more