Sacramento, CA -- Yesterday, legislators from both parties and both houses of the Legislature held a press conference with education, parent and good government groups to announce Senate Bill 799 (Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo), legislation that will fix the school budget reserve cap. SB 799 would give more flexibility to school districts to set aside reserve funds to best suit their students’ needs. The “reserve cap” is a fiscally irresponsible law passed last year that limits what school districts can save for a rainy day and limits what schools can save for large, critical investments in classroom technologies, school repairs, textbooks and other classroom investments. Watch the video of the press conference.
SB 799, the reserve cap fix, currently has 14 co-authors, including Senators Hill, Glazer, Allen, Block, Galgiani, Pavley, Roth and Assembly Members Gray, Brown, Calderon, Cooper, Irwin, Olsen, Ting. Many of these legislators stood with public policy and education groups including the California School Boards Association, California State PTA, League of Women Voters of California and others at the press conference.
Jesus Holguin, President of the California School Boards Association stated, “We applaud Senator Hill and the co-authors of SB 799 for stepping forward and recognizing the need to find a solution that will meet the needs of all school districts.”
Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) author of SB 799 said, “The bill we’ll be introducing later this week represents the compromise we could have achieved had there been an opportunity for negotiation last year when the school reserve cap language appeared in a trailer bill. Senate Bill 799 will allow for modest reserves, increased transparency and public involvement at the local level.”
During the event CSBA also announced a radio and online advertising campaign to support SB 799 that began airing statewide today. The ads discuss the need for school districts to be able to save for a rainy day and the urgency of passing the legislation prior to the legislature adjourning for the year. The radio ad can be heard at www.fixthecap.com
Trudy Schafer, Senior Director for Program, League of Women Voters of California said, “Allowing districts to keep adequate reserves protects classroom programs and services and local education jobs.”
“The local school reserve cap erodes the ability of local school boards to work with our communities and parents to make decisions that are best locally,” added Shayne Silva, Director of Legislation, California State PTA.
“SB 799 is the right solution at the right time. We again thank Senator Hill and the co-authors for recognizing the need to fix the budget reserve cap. SB 799 is a bi-partisan and good public policy piece of legislation. We must move this bill through the Legislature before session adjourns in September and urge Governor Brown to sign it into law,” concluded Holguin.
Coalition launches grassroots campaign to push for passage of SB 799 (D-Hill) before legislature adjourns