State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today thanked Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado, who is acting governor while Schwarzenegger is in Asia, for signing into law Senate Bill (SB) 847 and Assembly Bill (AB) 185. The two bills authorize the state to distribute federal education funds and take effect immediately.
“I applaud Governor Schwarzenegger and Lt. Governor Maldonado for getting the job done on behalf students, teachers, and schools that have been battered by years of budget cuts,” said O’Connell. “The signing of these two bills into law could not have come at a better time, just as millions of students go back to school. These funds will save and protect thousands of important jobs in California schools and provide the dual benefit of stimulating our economy, and helping students reach their full potential.”
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California’s Constitution requires that without a state budget, any appropriation bill, like SB 847 and AB 185, may not be sent to the governor’s desk unless the governor requests them by a formal letter. Governor Schwarzenegger made the request yesterday to send SB 847 and AB 185 to him, because they constituted emergencies.
SB 847 was coauthored by state Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), and Assembly member Tom Torlakson (D-Contra Costa). The measure provides the California Department of Education (CDE) with the authority to allocate $1.2 billion from the federal Education Jobs Fund to school districts. SB 847 is estimated to save 16,500 education jobs in California. These funds will be distributed based on the state’s revenue limit formulas.
AB 185, authored by Assembly member Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), provides the CDE with the authority to distribute nearly $904 million from two federal programs:
$416 million is provided for districts that have schools participating in the School Improvement Grant program. The participating schools must implement one of four specified school intervention models to turn around the achievement of their students.
• $488 million is for Phase II of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund program designed to stabilize local school budgets. About $271 million will be distributed to K–12 schools, with the remaining funds going to institutions for higher education. The K–12 funds will be distributed based on cuts to district revenue limit (general purpose) funding.
For information on the School Improvement Grant, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/sw/t1/sig09.asp. For information on the federal Education Jobs Fund, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr10/yr10rel89.asp.