Source: WestEd

Despite projected increases in state and local funding, California school districts face financial pressures that threaten to destabilize their budgets and force reductions in student services. A paper released by WestEd describes the fiscal pressures that districts face and outlines the implications in an effort to bring this issue, the silent recession, to light. Although California’s education funding formula provides revenues that grow incrementally each year, these increases are not based on the actual growth in the costs of operating a school. Consequently, some districts are experiencing cost increases that outpace revenue increases. This dynamic requires districts to find new strategies to prioritize their spending, and may lead to employee and program reductions as rising costs effectively “crowd out” other investments.