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RP MATH TEACHER AND STUDENT.JPGA deal apparently has been struck among legislative leaders, if not the governor, in the bitter battle over California school financing.

Legislative leaders were circulating documents to school districts today outlining a proposed compromise.

The Assembly and Senate joint budget conference committee has announced that it plans to conclude its business today, which would suggest a deal on the school funding and numerous other controversial issues.

The bottom line in the school funding battle is that all districts would receive additional base revenue under the legislative plan, with per-pupil grants increasing by $537 above the sums proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

"The compromise provides additional funding for an 'economic recovery payment' to ensure that virtually all districts get back to their 2007-08 state funding levels, adjusted for inflation," the documents said.

Matching funding to the 2007-08 level is important for districts because that was their highest funding year, prior to the state's budget crisis.

Under the compromise, districts would receive an additional 20 percent of their base grant for low-income and English language learners. The extra money is known as a "supplemental grant."

In Brown's budget, the supplemental grant would have totaled 35 percent of the base grant. But with the compromise's proposed increase in the base grant, the bottom line in those two categories remains similar.

Districts also could qualify for additional money, called "concentration grants," if 55 percent of their students are low income or English learners. The threshold under Brown's May budget revision was 50 percent.

Implementation of the changes would be stretched out an additional year under the compromise plan - to eight years, rather than seven.

"With the hold-harmless provisions, no district would get less money in the budget year then they do currently, and the vast majority will do better," the documents released to districts said.

Kevin Gordon, veteran education lobbyist, applauded the proposal today.

"It's as much a good solution for school finance reform as it is a (good) political solution to get a number of districts on board that considered themselves losers" under Brown's plan, he said.

"It makes huge progress on resolving that one roadblock," Gordon said. "It's a good compromise."

PHOTO: First grade teacher Carolyn Goehring, center, helps Marvin Mai with a math lesson during class at Raymond Case Elementary School in Elk Grove, Calif. on Thursday, April 18, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench



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