Burbank Unified School District officials said this week they weren’t
surprised to learn the school district would not be receiving
$173,000 in equalization money after the state Senate declined to
consider a bill proposed as part of the 2003-04 budget compromise.
Had the Senate passed SB 1046, $50 million would have been
released from categorical funding in math and reading professional
development, education technology and principal training to school
districts throughout the state, including Burbank Unified.
“It’s great for the people up there at the state to talk about
funding,” said Steve Bradley, the district’s assistant superintendent
of business services. “However, with [legislators] reducing
everyone’s revenues by 1.2%, they obviously didn’t have any funding
to do this.”
When the Assembly approved a state budget July 29, it also
approved the proposed legislation. But when the bill reached the
Senate for a final vote, legislators did not act on it.
Teri Burns, deputy superintendent for government affairs at the
state Department of Education, said her office anticipated the
legislation would not pass.
Supt. Gregory Bowman was among those who expressed disappointment.
“Every little bit helps, given reductions and having to lay off
people and reduce budgets,” he said. “Everyone is beginning to feel
School board member Paul Krekorian said the district could have
used the funding to offset severe budget cuts.
“It’s disappointing not to get additional funding, but it’s
funding we didn’t count on,” he said.
Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Burbank) said he and a number of his
colleagues were disappointed by the state Senate’s inaction.
“The Assembly passed the bill with bipartisan support as part of a
budget bill, but it went to the Senate, and the Senate never acted on
it,” Frommer said.
According to David Link, communications director for state Sen.
Jack Scott (D-Burbank), the Senate did not vote on the bill because
the Assembly put the money in “unilaterally” on their side, without
consulting with the Senate leadership.