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Use It or Lose It

Peter Birdsall

The Governor’s May Revision to the proposed 2024-25 state budget did not include major changes in funding for K-12 education, except for a modest increase in the funded cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) from the .76% projected in January to 1.07% at the May Revision.  Typically, the COLA projected in the May Revision is the one that is approved in the final budget.

 

The May Revision did, however, include proposed changes to the Budget Trailer Bill that set expenditure deadlines for several existing grant programs, and provide a mechanism for unexpended funds to be reclaimed by the state.  Specifically, new language is proposed concerning the expanded learning opportunities program (ELOP), the A-G Completion grant program, and the Arts, Music and Instructional Materials Discretionary block grant.  The most urgent of these changes is the deadline to expend funds appropriated for ELOP for 2021-22 and 2022-23

 

Expanded Learning Opportunities Program

 

The proposed Budget Trailer Bill Language (TBL) would add a provision that any ELOP funds allocated for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years that are not expended by September 30, 2024, “shall be returned to the state.”

 

Another provision in the TBL provides that commencing with the 2023-24 fiscal year, any funds appropriated for ELOP shall be expended by June 30 of the fiscal year following the year in which the appropriation is made.  For example, the deadline for expenditure of 2023-24 funds would be June 30, 2025.  The proposed language then says “Any funds that are not expended by a school district or charter school by the end of that period shall be returned to the state.”

 

Arts, Music and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant

 

The proposed trailer bill language would extend the expenditure authority for this block grant from June 30, 2025, to June 30, 2026.  The proposed language then says “By September 30, 2026, local educational agencies shall report final expenditures to the California Department of Education, which will initiate collection of unexpended funds.  Local educational agencies that do not submit the expenditure report shall forfeit all funds.”

 

A-G Completion Improvement Block Grant

 

Under current law, the expenditure authority for this grant program runs through 2025-26.  The proposed TBL would add that “By August 31, 2026, local educational agencies shall report final expenditures to the California Department of Education, which will initiate collection of unexpended funds.  Local education agencies that do not submit the expenditure report shall forfeit all funds.”

 

Thanks,

 

Peter

 

Peter Birdsall

President, Education Advocates

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