William S. Hart Union High School District
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 2009/10 education budget.
- Even though the Hart District received $92.55 in equalization funding in 2006/07, the District is $50/ADA below the undeficited 2008/09 statewide average base revenue limit per ADA for high school districts of $7,069. (the District’s 2008/09 deficited revenue limit is $6,468.)
- 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 – State School Construction Money Release
- State school construction funds have been frozen by the State Allocation Board (SAB), of which $11.7 million dollars is anticipated for the Hart District. The frozen funds include Proposition 1D funds, modernization funds, and new construction funds. The following Hart District current capital projects are reliant upon State money: modernization projects at Hart High and Sierra Vista Junior High; new construction projects at Academy of the Canyons and Hart High School; and Prop 1D funding at Golden Valley and West Ranch High Schools.
- This action by the SAB has caused the District to modify funding plans and postpone projects that were planned for authorization. Most critical is the Academy of the Canyons project ($5.5 million) which the District already funded using the assumption of a 50/50 match from the State. Another project is the modernization at Sierra Vista Junior High School which has eligibility for $3.4 million from the State, money that can no longer be counted on.
- State construction funds must be released immediately.
ISSUE #3 – Behavior Intervention Plan Settlement
Background: A major milestone has been met with the Behavioral Intervention Plan [Hughes Bill] settlement. The settlement provides for $65 million in increased funding for SELPAs, subject to cost-of-living adjustments. In addition, districts will receive $510 million, payable in $85 million annual installments over six years, starting in 2011/12 and ending in 2016/17 (based on 2007/08 P2 ADA). Also, in 2009/10, an additional $7.5 million will be paid to COEs and SELPAs.
- The settlement is contingent on the enactment of legislation making the settlement terms law and appropriating the necessary funds. To meet this third step, Assembly Member Tom Torlakson has introduced AB 661, which includes the proposed settlement language. Once the legislation is enacted, assuming court endorsement, the State will pay the agreed upon funding amounts.