Sacramento Road Trip – Lobbying Items – Hart
ISSUE #1 – Equalization Funding Background
- Throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, revenue limit equalization compared each school district’s base revenue limit to the statewide average for districts of the same type (elementary, high school, or unified) and size (large or small, as measured by ADA), and used equalization aid to bring low-funded districts up to the average. As a result, those districts that were brought up to the average in one year were again below the average the next year, because the statewide average itself was recomputed.
- In 2005/06, the State began calculating equalization using the 90th percentile formula. Under this formula, base revenue limits for each type/size of district are ranked from high to low, and the district at the 90th percentile is the district above which there is no more than 10% of the ADA in the state for that type/size of district. Using the base revenue limit for the district at the 90th percentile as the target for equalization has two major advantages—the target doesn’t change when equalization aid is provided to the districts whose revenue limit is below the target, and fully funding equalization aid results in 90% of the ADA in the state being equalized.
- Equalization funding must be a priority in the 2007/08 education budget.
- Even though the Hart District received $92.55 in equalization funding in 2006/07, the District remains at $55/ADA below the projected 2007/08 statewide average base revenue limit per ADA for high school districts of $6,664.
- Since the Hart District receives a very low percentage of categorical funding, it relies heavily on unrestricted funding to provide the resources necessary to attract and retain highly qualified teachers.
ISSUE #2 – Transportation Funding
Background: Currently the District receives approximately 30% reimbursement from the State of California for our costs to operate mandated special needs transportation. With the exception of the State COLA, there has not been a change in the reimbursement formula for over twenty years. In 1983 the District operated one special needs route; today the District operates twenty-three.
- Fund special needs transportation at 100% for transportation required by the State and Federal Governments.
Background: While the State and Federal Governments mandate transportation needs transportation, no funds are available to purchase or replace buses or related equipment. The average cost of a special needs bus is approximately $92,000.
- Make funding available to school districts for replacement of buses for special needs transportation, including full reimbursement for equipment required to meet special medical and behavior requirements on the school bus. (Child restraints, reimbursement for medical and bus aides, wheelchair lifts, etc).
ISSUE #2 – Transportation Funding (continued)
Background: Medicinal technology continues to advance extending the life span of our most fragile students. The District transports a large number of students that have various medical conditions of varying severity, including some students that are medically fragile. Drivers, aides and supervisors need additional training in first aid, CPR, specialized emergency medical procedures as well as behavior management and emergency and disaster preparedness.
- Make funding available for specialized training for transportation department personnel related to First Aide, CPR, specialized emergency medical procedures, behavior management, emergency/disaster procedures.
Background: With the exception of the State COLA, there has not been a change in the reimbursement formula for over twenty years.
- Update transportation reimbursement formula to fund transportation (general education) at current levels.
Background: During the past five years there have been numerous spikes in fuel costs of over 30%. The current funding from the State does not allow for these increased costs which are a burden to the District. Funding needs to be made available to Districts to cover these additional costs.
- Make emergency funding available to school districts to cover increased fuel costs when there are abnormal increases in the market.
Background: There is a need to develop emergency and disaster plans for students who are on the school bus when an emergency/disaster occurs. Currently there is no funding available for District to develop these plans or purchase the necessary supplies associated with an emergency plan involving the transportation system.
Make funding available for Districts to develop an emergency plan / procedures for students on buses during a disaster. Special consideration needs to be given to medically fragile students in developing a plan.