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Education Budget Strategies for Challenging Times: How California School Districts Are Addressing the Silent Recession

By Kelsey Krausen, Ruthie Caparas, Jason Willis


California has steadily increased per-pupil funding for K–12 education since the enactment of the Local Control Funding Formula in 2013. However, the financial reality for school districts remains challenging. As detailed in Silent Recession: Why California School Districts Are Underwater Despite Increases in Funding, many education expenses have continued to grow far beyond increases in revenues.

This paper, written by Kelsey Krausen, Ruthie Caparas, and Jason Willis of the Comprehensive School Assistance Program at WestEd, describes how districts throughout California are addressing these financial challenges. The paper draws from research literature and interviews with business leaders from school districts and county offices of education throughout the state.

The paper focuses on existing budget strategies that districts and counties are utilizing to ensure that their limited resources are allocated to programs and initiatives that generate the greatest possible benefit for students. Budget strategies presented in this paper include strategies for

  • Increasing effectiveness and efficiency
  • Focusing on high-leverage budget decisions
  • Strengthening communication and collaboration

Download the Executive Summary and Other “Silent Recession” Papers:

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2018
Format: PDF
Pages: 36
Publisher: WestEd