Adventures in Ed Funding

Adventures in Ed Funding

California once ranked among the top states in per student investment. What happened and what will it take for us to climb our way back? Join us as we trek through the surprisingly fascinating world of schools, money and California's future. ***During the COVID-19 pandemic, we're also featuring timely stories, guidance, personal experiences and strategies for navigating this health, economic and equity crisis.***From local educators, parents and district leaders to education advocates, researchers and State Capitol insiders, we explore the stories of those who have had a hand in shaping education funding and policy, and all those touched by it.


November 16, 2021 60 mins

Have you had a chance yet to check out the Budgeting for Educational Equity podcast? We're sharing the latest episode here because it delves into a subject near and dear to anyone interested in California education funding: the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, which was adopted in 2013.

The LCFF is regarded by many as the most significant resource equity reform the state has ever enacted. It definitely ushered ...

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We're excited to share with you this first episode of a new limited series podcast presented in collaboration by WestEd and CASBO. It's called Budgeting for Educational Equity.

About this new series
How can dedicated teams of educators, administrators, school business officials and entire school communities allocate resources to better meet the needs of all their students -- especially at this watershed momen...

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February 12, 2021 13 mins

It has been exactly a year since we launched the Adventures in Ed Funding series. And what a year it was! In addition to our focus on school finance, we also produced additional episodes with timely information and stories to help schools and communities navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. In total, our first season included 36 shows. Here's a quick look back at just a few of the highlights during a difficult time when we've ...

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December 11, 2020 24 mins

What has it been like for school district human resources departments during these many months of pandemic? What are key challenges faced and lessons learned from recruiting, hiring and negotiating in a virtual environment? In this episode, special guest Norma Gonzales, Assistant Superintendent of HR and Interim Associate Superintendent of Business Services in Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento, helps us explore ...

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The latest state budget outlook. Fiscal implications for schools. Safely reopening campuses. Tips for successful negotiations. These topics and more were on the table when school business leaders and state fiscal experts gathered remotely the week before Thanksgiving for CASBO's CBO Symposium.

We can't possibly convey all the insights and information packed into those two days. But in this episode we do bring yo...

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Despite the pandemic, California students are beginning to return to campuses for in-person instruction. In this episode, we connect with education leaders in San Diego and Napa counties to explore how schools in their regions are addressing key guidelines for reopening safely, including partnering with their county health departments to test employees for the COVID-19 virus.


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How do education stakeholders, political leaders and policy experts view California’s school funding system and what would it take to come together around a comprehensive, coordinated effort to increase funding in California? 

In this new episode, we explore these and other timely topics with Jason Willis and Carrie Hahnel, two co-authors of “Securing and protecting education funding in California,”  a new study from Policy Analysis...

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Economic development and public policy trailblazer Lenny Mendonca -- who most recently served as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor --  takes us inside the administration’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) and shares insights on a range of vital topics, including: 

  • the shape of California’s economic recovery 
  • the future of work
  • K-12 and higher education alignment
  • school funding
  • the importance...
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Time is running out for Congress and the President to reach a deal that provides additional coronavirus relief funding for states and schools before the end of the year. 

In this episode, Kevin Gordon, President of Capitol Advisors Group, offer a timely take on the political dynamics in Washington D.C., and the potential implications for California’s classrooms and state budget. Will additional relief be approved? What key...

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September 5, 2020 43 mins

On the last night of August, the California State Legislature wrapped up its 2019-2020 legislative session in a flurry. Many bills were passed and sent to the Governor, but several difficult issues were left unresolved. In this episode, CASBO’s dynamic team of advocates Sara Bachez and Elizabeth Esquivel share highlights. What were some of the legislature’s final actions (or inactions)? What are potential education budget and fisca...

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Veteran local school board member Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez helps us explore the education landscape during and after COVID-19 from a local governance perspective. What has worked well? What big challenges remain? How are local school boards navigating safety and instructional guidelines and finding new ways to engage their communities in a physical-distance environment? Plus, given the natural push and pull that exists between local a...

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As California school districts work to safely reopen schools during COVID-19, the alarming specter of costly litigation looms, even as districts follow all state and local health and safety guidelines.

In this episode, Santa Clara USD Chief Business Official Eric Dill helps us wade through the murky liability waters brought on by the pandemic. We explore some basics about school district insurance and risk management, and...

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What are some of the vital operational elements that school business leaders must keep moving forward and aligned as their districts implement school safety and back to school plans? In this episode, Lafayette School District Chief Business Official and CASBO Vice President Diane Deshler helps us explore the ongoing work of a school business office during these days of pandemic and economic crisis. 

How has her school district appro...

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She serves as President of the California State Board of Education, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, and is one of the nation’s leading education researchers...In this episode Dr. Linda Darling Hammond shares what’s on her mind as plans for the new school year continue to take shape. How is distance learning going? What have other countries done to re-open their campuses safely and what else should our federal go...

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With so much information, guidance and politics swirling about how the new school year will begin due to COVID-19, it can feel stressful, overwhelming or in the words of one district superintendent, as if we are often “scrambling remotely.” In this episode, we invite you to – breathe in deeply and exhale slowly – as we "recenter" ourselves and connect with three truly inspiring individuals: a student, teacher and principa...

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Proposition 15 on the November 3, 2020 statewide ballot would generate billions in new funding for schools and other local services by changing the way commercial and industrial property taxes are assessed. How would Proposition 15 work? And how is the campaign shaping up?

In this episode, guests David Goldberg, Vice-President of the 310,000-member California Teachers Association (CTA); Saa’un Bell, Strategy Director for Californian...

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The new state budget agreement will include up to $11.1 billion in K-12 payment "deferrals." But what exactly are deferrals? How do they help the state balance its budget? And what are the implications for local school districts?

In this special “explainer” episode, guest Matt Phillips, director of management consulting services at School Services of California, is back to describe everything you need to know abo...

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When schools start up again, we do not have to go back to business as usual in our educational system. Instead, the disruption caused by COVID-19 provides an opportunity for us all to see, engage and act differently to produce success for all students in the system, not just some. That's the call to action brought forward in this episode by our special guest Hugh Vasquez, senior associate with the National Equity Project. He s...

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What will school bus service look like when schools re-open? What will it take to get those yellow buses we all miss back on the roads?

In this episode, two California school transportation experts lead us on an adventure into “Bus World.” We explore how school districts are planning to meet the many challenges posed by COVID-19 so that California students can be safely transported to and from their school campuses.  


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California educators, school leaders and communities have never faced a moment with so many intersecting crises: pandemic, economic, educational, civic. While schools just wrapped up the 2019-20 year, the push is on to determine how to ready schools for the coming year. It's no easy task. 

Guest Daryl Camp, Superintendent of San Lorenzo USD in Alameda County and President of the California Association of African-American Superi...

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