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Budget Act for 2018–19: Information

Overview of education-related funding included in the Budget Act of 2018–19.

On June 27, 2018, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed the Budget Act of 2018 and related trailer bills to put in place a spending plan for 2018–19 and a revised spending plan for 2017–18. This letter, prepared by the California Department of Education (CDE) fiscal policy staff, provides information on the budget actions that affect Transitional Kindergarten through grade twelve (TK–12), adult education, and early education programs.

Copies of this document, as well as other budget-related documents, are available on the CDE Education Budget web page. Official state budget documents are available through the California Department of Finance (DOF) websiteExternal link opens in new window or tab..


The budget package demonstrates strong and ongoing support of high-quality public education in California. Total state expenditures for 2018–19 from all sources are projected to be $201.4 billion with total General Fund expenditures of $138.7 billion and a Rainy Day Fund balance of nearly $13.8 billion as well as additional reserves of more than $3.3 billion. When all funding sources are accounted for (federal, state and local), the budget package includes $97.2 billion for TK–12 education, with per-pupil spending of $16,352 in 2018–19, compared to $15,775 in 2017–18.

Proposition 98

The budget package fully funds the Proposition (Prop) 98 minimum funding guarantee at $78.4 billion for K–14 education. This reflects state funding of $54.9 billion and local funding of $23.5 billion, accounting for $11,631 in TK–12 per-pupil funding.

The budget package fully funded Prop 98 and rebenched the Prop 98 minimum guarantee to reflect inclusion of child care wraparound services that were funded within the guarantee beginning in 2015–16. In addition, the budget package makes changes to facilitate the required annual certification of Prop 98.

This includes processes to account for any funding in excess of the required minimum funding guarantee as well as providing for any additional amounts owed in future fiscal years. The CDE and DOF have worked closely together in recent months, and the DOF recently posted the Prop 98 Certification Factors (on their K–12 Education web page External link opens in new window or tab.) for fiscal years 2009–10 through 2016–17. This initiated a public review and comment period. If no legal challenge to the calculations are made by December 14, 2018, the guarantee will be deemed certified.

Local Control Funding Formula

The budget package fully funds the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) two years ahead of the estimated time frame for implementation. Over the six years of LCFF implementation, the state has dedicated nearly $21 billion of increased Prop 98 resources to the LCFF. Original DOF estimates in 2013–14 projected state costs of approximately $18 billion and eight years to fully phase in the new funding formula.

The 2018–19 budget package includes $570 million above the amount required to fund the statutory cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 2.71 percent. This effectively provides a “Super COLA” of 3.70 percent, increasing the base, supplemental, and concentration grants for the LCFF. In addition to funding 100 percent of the remaining “gap” in the 2018–19 fiscal year, the budget package provides for the continuous appropriation of LCFF apportionments in future years, including the annual COLA. This will help provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with greater certainty for their budgetary planning.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment

The budget package includes $165.7 million to fund the statutory COLA of 2.71 percent for the following categorical programs outside of LCFF: Mandate Block Grant; Special Education; Child Nutrition; Foster Youth; Preschool; American Indian Education Centers; American Indian Early Childhood Education; Adults in Correctional Facilities; and the Adult Education Block Grant.

One-Time Discretionary Funding/Mandates

The budget package includes $1.1 billion one-time Prop 98 funding, similar to prior years, for TK–12 LEAs to be allocated per unit of average daily attendance. These discretionary funds can be used for any purpose determined by the LEA’s governing board. The amounts, net of the Medi-Cal claims described below, will reduce the amount of outstanding mandate claims currently on file with the State Controller’s Office. Legislative intent language identifies priority uses for these funds.

However, if a school district is required to repay claims disallowed under the School-Based Medi-Cal Administrative Activities or LEA Medi-Cal Billing Option for the 2009–10 through the 2015–16 fiscal years, the amount owed by the LEAs will be withheld and transferred to the General Fund as reimbursement of the payments made by the state in the 2017–18 and 2018–19 fiscal years to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on behalf of the LEAs.

The budget package also provides $236.3 million for the TK–12 Mandated Programs Block Grant, including $6.2 million for a 2.71 percent COLA.

Fire-Related Funding Relief

The state experienced some of the most destructive and costly fires in its history in 2017. The budget package proposes to backfill the wildfire-related property tax revenue losses incurred by TK–12 schools within Prop 98 and includes the following support for LEAs impacted by the 2017 wildfires in Northern and Southern California:

  • $13.9 million authorization for one-time federal funds for the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations grant to assist with eligible expenses to reopen schools after the 2017 wildfires in Northern and Southern California.
  • $2 million authorization for one-time federal Project School Emergency Response to Violence funds to reimburse LEAs for eligible expenses to quickly reopen schools after the 2017 wildfires in Northern California.
  • $3.7 million one-time Prop 98 backfill of local property tax losses for basic aid districts ($2.4 million for 2017–18 and $1.3 million for 2018–19) and $581,000 for special education ($267,000 for 2017–18 and $314,000 for 2018–19). Trailer bill language to ensure that the backfill amounts cover the property tax losses.
  • Trailer bill language exempts LEAs that are granted a federal waiver from state educational testing requirements in the 2017–18 school year.

Early Education and Child Care

The budget continues to build on early education and child care programs. Total early education and child care funding for 2018–19 is over $3.6 billion, including $1.2 billion for California State Preschool Program (CSPP), $588 million for General Child Care, and $427 million for Alternative Payment Programs, for a net increase of $288 million among the three programs in 2018–19. The budget package includes the following:

California State Preschool Program:

  • $19 million Prop 98 to annualize 2,959 full day CSPP slots that begin April 1, 2018.
  • $8 million Prop 98 to add 2,959 full day CSPP slots that begin April 1, 2019.
  • Increases the Standard Reimbursement Rate (SRR) for CSPP as follows, beginning July 1, 2018:
    • Part-day: $29.90 per child day of enrollment; previous rate of $28.32
    • Full-day: $48.28 per child day of enrollment; previous rate of $45.7

General Child Care and Alternative Payment Programs:

  • Increases the SRR for child care to $47.98 per child day of enrollment, beginning July 1, 2018.
  • $40 million to increase child care reimbursement rate adjustment factors for infants, toddlers, and children with special needs, beginning January 1, 2019.
    • The infant adjustment factor increased to 2.44 for all settings (from 1.7 for infants
      in centers and 1.4 for infants in family child care homes).
    • The toddler adjustment factor for all settings increased to 1.8 (from 1.4 for all settings).
    • The adjustment factor for students with disabilities increased to 1.54 (from 1.2).
    • The severely disabled adjustment factor increased to 1.93 (from 1.5).
  • $220 million across 2018–19 and 2019–20 for 13,407 additional Alternative Payment slots. Of these new slots, 11,307 are available until June 30, 2020, and are funded using federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) funding. The remaining slots are funded with non-Prop 98 resources.

Other Child Care Budget Changes:

  • $167 million one-time Prop 98 for Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program for LEA facilities, equipment, or professional development to enable them to provide early care and education in inclusive settings.
  • $100 million one-time to LEAs to construct or retrofit existing school facilities in order to provide full-day kindergarten (districts can apply for funds to offer full-day TK).
  • $26 million new CCDF for annual inspections of licensed providers.
  • $26 million one-time funding to support quality child care:
    • $10 million for County Pilot for inclusive care for county offices of education
    • $5 million for Licensed Child Care Teacher Professional Development
    • $5 million for the California Child Care Initiative
    • $6 million for other one-time quality activities
  • $925,000 federal Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Grant funds
  • ($602,000 one-time carryover funds and $323,000 increase to the federal grant).
  • Trailer bill language authorizing school districts to place children enrolled in State Preschool in the same classroom as children enrolled in TK, when specified conditions are met.

Career Technical Education

The budget package provides $150 million Prop 98 for competitive matching grants to continue the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program with new reporting requirements. The CDE will determine the allocation formula, the purposes for which grant funds may be used, and allowable expenditures in collaboration with the State Board of Education (SBE).

The budget package also provides $164 million Prop 98 in competitive grants with a matching requirement for TK–12 LEAs to expand and align their career technical education programs with programs offered by higher education institutions and with regional labor market demand. $150 million establishes the TK–12 component of the Strong Workforce and $14 million is to support the Workforce Pathway Coordinators and the K–14 Technical Assistance Providers. These funds will be administered by regional consortia established by the Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and are intended to create, support, or expand high-quality career technical education programs at the TK–12 level aligned with workforce development efforts.

Low-Performing Students Block Grant

The budget package provides $300 million one-time Prop 98 funds for the Low- Performing Students Block Grant. The funds will be allocated on an equal amount per pupil during the 2018–19 fiscal year to LEAs. These funds will be allocated based on students who: (1) perform at the lowest levels on the state's academic assessments, and (2) do not generate supplemental LCFF funds or state or federal special education resources.

As a condition for receiving the funds, LEAs must develop a plan describing how funds will be used to increase or improve services for eligible students to achieve academic success and report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding the adopted plan on or before March 1, 2019. The information reported by the grant recipients will be shared with appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature and the DOF.

Special Education

In addition to the Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (see Child Care summary) and the backfill of local property taxes (see Fire-Related Funding Relief), the budget package focuses on two areas of special education: student performance and the shortage of special education teachers.

Approximately two-thirds of school districts identified for differentiated assistance are based on the performance of students with disabilities. In response to this data, the budget includes the following:

  • $10 million Prop 98 for Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) to assist COEs in providing technical assistance to school districts identified for differentiated assistance (specific to students with disabilities).
  • Requires a SELPA local plan template to be created and requires a new assurance plan to align with a district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).
  • Requires SELPA summaries of expenditures and services to be aligned with improved student outcome strategies noted in their SELPA plan.

The teacher shortage is addressed through a combination of increased funding and streamlined credentialing:

  • $100 million one-time Prop 98 to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to increase and retain special education teachers.
    • $50 million Teacher Residency Grant Program to support locally sponsored teacher preparation programs. (This is part of a $75 million one-time Prop 98 appropriation; the other $25 million will support programs aimed at bilingual and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] teachers.)
    • $50 million Local Solutions Grant Program to provide competitive grants to LEAs.
  • Consolidates the number of Special Education Credentials from seven to five.

Statewide System of Support

Building off the California School Dashboard, the budget provides funding to support school districts identified with consistently low-performing student subgroups and connects them to a network of resources available through a statewide system of support. The statewide system of support brings together the CDE, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), COEs, and school districts to work collaboratively to identify barriers to student achievement and expertise to address those barriers.

In addition to the $10 million for SELPAs assisting COEs (see Special Education summary) the budget package provides $72.8 million for technical assistance and capacity-building within the statewide system of support:

  • $57.8 million Prop 98 Statewide System of Support for COEs to provide technical assistance to school districts, including $4 million for geographical regional leads to build system-wide capacity to support school district improvement.
  • $15 million one-time Prop 98 to enhance the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support by building and disseminating statewide resources specifically focused on improving school climate in both academic and behavioral areas.
  • $13.3 million one-time Prop 98 to support a Community Engagement Initiative, with the CCEE and a co-lead COE to help school districts build capacity for community engagement in the LCAP process.
  • $11.5 million Prop 98 to support the CCEE in its role within the statewide system of support.
  • $300,000 one-time Prop 98 to improve the user interface of the Dashboard.
  • $200,000 one-time Prop 98 to develop an electronic template for the LCFF Budget Summary to improve the transparency of LCAP funding decisions.
  • $200,000 one-time Prop 98 to support future legislation to streamline the LCAP.


The budget package provides $640 million in bond authority (Prop 51) to fund new construction, modernization, career technical education, and charter facility projects based on the Office of Public School Construction’s processing of project applications and the State Allocation Board’s approval of these projects. Trailer bill language specifies that all Prop 51 funds shall be encumbered by June 30, 2023.

Other One-Time Appropriations

Teacher Residency Grant Program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and Bilingual Educators)

  • $25 million one-time Prop 98 to support locally sponsored, one-year intensive, mentored, clinical teacher preparation programs aimed at bilingual and STEM teachers. (An additional $50 million for special education teachers is reflected in the Special Education section.)

After School Kids Code Grant Program

  • $15 million in one-time Prop 98 funding for the After School Kids Code Grant Pilot Program. The program is to expand access to computer coding for students participating in the After School Education and Safety (ASES) programs and will be allocated through a competitive grant process to eligible ASES applicants.

Suicide Prevention Training

  • $1.7 million one-time Prop 98 funding to provide suicide prevention training resources to LEAs. The CDE will identify evidence-based training programs for LEAs on suicide prevention and provide a grant to a COE to acquire and disseminate a training program identified by the CDE.

History and Social Science Curriculum (Genocide Awareness)

  • $500,000 in one-time non-Prop 98 funds to supplement the funding provided for the History and Social Science Curriculum in the 2017–18 Budget Act to support the development of additional History and Social Science curriculum framework resources related to Genocide Awareness education.

California-Grown Fresh School Meals Grant Program

  • $1 million one-time Prop 98 to incentivize the purchase of California-grown food used by LEAs and expand the number of meals served using California-grown ingredients.

Budget and Trailer Bills

The Budget Act and Trailer Bills (TB) are as follows:

Questions:   Fiscal Policy Office | 916-319-0821
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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