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GOP: Reverse Budget Reserve Restriction On School Districts

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A new rule in this year’s California budget package is drawing anger from school districts – and calls from Republicans to overturn it.

Each year, the state recommends a minimum budget reserve for school districts. Now, thanks to a last-minute provision in this year’s state budget, there’s a maximum as well: either two or three times the minimum, depending on how big a district is.

To Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, that’s ridiculous.

“Just when we finally climbed out of that hole, we’re putting this on them, and saying – and now, you can’t build healthy reserves," says Olsen. "It’s not fair and it’s bad for students, and it’s bad for teachers alike,” she says. 

But Democrats are defending the cap as “very reasonable” and say it would rarely be used.

“We want them to have a healthy reserve, just as we want the state to have a healthy reserve. We just don’t want them to be sitting on unnecessarily high amounts of money when that money should be getting into the classroom,” says Assembly Budget Chair Nancy Skinner.

The Republican proposal is unlikely to move forward in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

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