California’s budget roller coaster ride continues on this month with recent reports of new tax revenues totaling over 4 billion dollars more than expected. This surprising but happy news has arrived just before Governor Brown is set to release his revised May budget proposal and in the middle of debates over his dramatic school funding plans.

Anyone interested in making sense of all this should count on attending the San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) Community Budget Forum next week. From 7-8:30pm next Thursday, May 16th, at 555 Franklin Street, the school funding situation will be reviewed, including how it affects our schools here in San Francisco and what we can do about it. Spanish and Chinese interpretation will be provided, along with refreshments.

If you can’t attend the SFSUD Budget Forum, or if you just want to arrive with the basics down, many resources exist that together provide an excellent picture of California’s complex education finances, including reports from:

• The California Budget Project
• The Stanford University Getting Down to Facts research project
• The Public Policy Institute of California

While few of these studies make for light bed-time reading, they all provide complementary pieces of analysis about different aspects of and views into the very critical, very difficult challenge of getting money into our classrooms.

Lisa Schiff is the parent of two children in the San Francisco Unified School District and is a member of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco.