Adventures in Ed Funding

Extreme Budget Turbulence Ahead: California Schools Brace For A New Jolt

May 14, 2020 California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) Season 1 Episode 17
Adventures in Ed Funding
Extreme Budget Turbulence Ahead: California Schools Brace For A New Jolt
Show Notes Chapter Markers

California’s already inadequately funded schools now face the prospect of unprecedented budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, special guests Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, CASBO President Jamie Dial, and school finance guru Rick Simpson help us consider the difficult budget circumstances we find ourselves in -- and how to prepare for the jarring journey ahead. 

While there’s no sugarcoating that the financial news is bleak, we also look for rays of optimism and try to remain solutions-oriented. With our guests, we explore some of the proposals Gov. Newsom has put forward and implications of the state's massive budget deficit on local school districts. 

Jamie shares some of the biggest challenges school districts face during this unprecedented time. Assemblymember Muratsuchi notes the vital need for additional federal relief, plus he shares a new idea he'll be introducing to try to raise some additional, critically needed revenue. And Rick offers candid advice for the education community about framing the conversation and context when communicating with key state decision makers in dire fiscal times like these.

Note: Gov. Gavin Newsom released his May Revise to the state budget on May 14. It reflects an estimated state budget deficit of $54.3 billion over two year -- and a $19 billion drop in the school funding minimum guarantee since January. For more specific May Revise details, check out CASBO’s News Break. Also be sure to watch the recent webinar with FCMAT's Michael Fine on budget planning during the crisis.

About Our Guests

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) represents California’s 66th Assembly District, located in the South Bay of Los Angeles County. He is a former prosecutor and Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice and a former Torrance School Board member. As a legislator, he has championed efforts to increase the state's overall investment in public education. Full bio.

Jamie Dial serves as Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the Kings County Office of Education. She also serves as CASBO President, representing more than 23,000 school business officials throughout the state. Prior to her current position, Jamie served for more than a decade in the Kings County Office of Education and also as a fiscal services specialist at Hanford Elementary School District. She began her career in finance in the retail and merchandising industries before moving into public education. Jamie has also held numerous leadership positions within CASBO.

Before retiring in 2016, Rick Simpson served in senior legislative positions for four decades, including serving for nine Assembly Speakers, two Education Committee Chairs, and a governor. He is highly regarded as an expert in school finance and policy, and played a key role drafting many significant state education budgets and bills.


The California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) is the premier resource for professional development and business best practices for California's school business leaders. CASBO is dedicated to promoting excellence and professionalism in all aspects of school business.

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Introduction: There's no sugarcoating that the state's financial outlook -- a projected $54 billion deficit -- is bleak. How can we process the news and remain "solutions-oriented?"
Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi discusses the Governor's May Revision to the budget and ways to try to cushion the potential blow for schools, including a new distance learning revenue bond he plans to introduce.
Governor Gavin Newsom presented the May Revision to the State Budget on May 14: We listen to one of the many key moments of the press conference.
CASBO President Jamie Dial shares challenges and implications of the new budget reality for school districts and county offices -- and ways to remain optimistic as we work through this time together.
Longtime State Capitol school finance expert Rick Simpson offers insights and candid advice for the education community gained from his four decades helping the legislature and gubernatorial administrations negotiate difficult budgets.