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LAO ‘re-envisions’ county offices of education 

A new report from the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, “Re-Envisioning County Offices of Education: A Study of Their Mission and Funding,” offers an analysis of how COEs are funded and how LCFF money is spent, and makes a series of recommendations related to alternative education, required district services and optional services – many of these recommendations include shifting current levels of funding to the district level.

Click here to download the full LAO report on county offices of education.

This report is not written in response to any recently proposed or enacted legislation, but it may spark some discussions in the legislative policy committees.

CSBA staff is carefully reviewing the recommendations in the report and, if warranted, will address concerns about the findings with the LAO and/or members of the Legislature.

Summary of recommendations (Pg. 19):

  • Alternative Education: Provide districts funding directly for alternative school students. Allow pass-throughs to COEs. For juvenile court schools, set COE as default provider, but allow districts the option of selecting another provider. Also, set default COE reimbursement rate but allow for rate to be locally negotiated.
  • Fiscal and Academic Oversight: Fund COEs directly for these state-required activities. Allocate funds according to the number of districts in each county and the size of those districts.
  • Other Compliance Monitoring: Continue to fund COEs for other compliance monitoring through the K-12 mandates block grant.
  • Optional Services: Shift funding to districts and have COEs charge fees for the optional district services they provide.

Additional information from the LAO:

This week, the LAO is expected to release a new analysis of the proposed 2017-18 Proposition 98 spending package – the proposal includes a series of accounting maneuvers that would effectively lower the guarantee for 2017-18 and make downward adjustments to current and prior year funding levels. The report will also include updated information on the impact of employer pension cost increases. CSBA will report on this analysis when it is released.

Additional Proposition 98 resources:

Overview of the Governor’s Proposition 98 Budget Package (1/13/17)

EdBudget Tables (1/13/17)

A Historical Review of Proposition 98 (1/18/17)