Jan. 10: Today, the Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his first budget proposal for the 2013-14 year. The plan would increase K-12 spending levels by $2.7 billion next year.
It would also, as expected, overhaul the funding formula for school districts.
Brown's proposed formula would lift a number of spending restrictions that have long been in place for specific programs, instead of granting school boards the latitude to allocate the funds where they see fit.
And here's the biggest change: Brown's proposal would give a base amount to school districts for each student -- roughly $6,700 per pupil, on average. Then it would give districts an additional 35 percent to educate every child who is low-income, an English learner or in foster care, according to the Department of Finance's Nick Schweizer.
Schools would receive about $400 additional dollars per student next year, on average, under this formula (including the supplemental funding), Schweizer said.
In a news call with reporters today, Schweizer said districts with a high population of needy students -- those with more than 50 percent, such as Oakland Unified School District -- would receive an additional 35 percent of the base funding amount for every child above the 50 percent threshold.
The plan would also shift adult education responsibilities to community colleges and give the college system $300 million for that purpose. The summary acknowledges that many adult education programs in the K-12 system have been significantly diminished.
There is much to digest in this proposal. If you want to read the (long) summary for yourself, starting on Page 15, I've posted it on my blog.
Jan. 8: Well, 2013 is not off to the best start for the OUSD administration. Here's a report I just filed:
A flood -- apparently caused by a tap left on overnight -- shut down the Oakland school district's four-story administrative headquarters today. The roughly 150 employees who report there will have to work elsewhere for the rest of the week, and Wednesday's school board meeting will be held at the newly rebuilt La Escuelita Elementary School, located across the street.
The problem appears to have started in the custodian's closet, gushing three gallons of water a minute overnight until the swampy mess was discovered at 6 a.m. Tuesday, said Troy Flint, OUSD spokesman.
The water damaged some equipment as well as the structure of the already decaying building at 1025 Second Ave., which houses the superintendent and the human resources and payroll departments, among others.
"It's going to take a few days to make it inhabitable again," Flint said.
Flint said he believed the water was left on accidentally.
Employees on Tuesday morning received an email to stay home, Flint said, and most received the message in time.
Flint said customer service departments will temporarily be housed somewhere else.
UPDATE: The administration building will not reopen on Monday. There is still no damage estimate.