LAO Reports

The 2013-14 Budget: Restructuring the K-12 Funding System

February 22, 2013

 


The Governor proposes to restructure the way the state allocates funding to school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education. We believe the Governor’s proposed new formulas would address many problems inherent in the state’s existing K-12 funding approach, and we recommend the Legislature adopt most components of the proposal. Unlike the current system, the proposed formulas would be simple and transparent, fund similar students similarly, and link funding to the cost of educating students. We believe the proposed approach could be improved, however, with some notable modifications. We suggest a number of specific changes to better align funding levels with anticipated costs, eliminate irrational funding differences across districts, simplify the formulas, and ensure important state priorities are addressed.