Windfall for CA K-12 schools; pension-cost relief will free up money for school districts next year

Districts laboring under higher mandated expenses would receive a surprise windfall — pension-cost relief — in Gov. Newsom’s first proposed state budget for 2019-20, which will also provide big spending increases for early and higher education.

Using surplus money from the state’s General Fund, Newsom would wipe out $3 billion of districts’ rising obligations to CalSTRS, the pension fund for teachers and administrators, including $350 million each of the next two fiscal years. If the Legislature passes the budget as proposed, districts will be able to spend that money as they want. The remaining $2.3 billion would reduce districts’ liabilities beyond 2020-21.

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