Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May budget revision includes the most investments ever for the state’s nearly 6.2 million K-12 students at a total $101.8 billion.
Higher than expected revenues in the first part of the year freed up more funds that were targeted to education. According to the governor, 45 percent of the total $213 billion budget is dedicated to K-14 education.
“California public education is stronger today than it has been in years and we applaud the governor for his fiscal growth mindset that will position our students to be leaders of our next generations,” said ACSA Executive Director Wes Smith.
Changes from Newsom’s January budget include:
• $696.2 million in ongoing funds for special education (increase of $119.2 million from January).
• $13.9 million in ongoing professional development for administrators.
• $44.8 million in non-Prop. 98 funding to provide professional development for inclusive practices, social emotional learning, computer science and restorative practices.
• Additional $150 million to reduce STRS employer contributions, further reducing the financial burden on school districts.
• $89.8 million for one-time funding for loan forgiveness.
• $36 million in one-time funds for Classified School Employees Summer Assistance Program.
ACSA Governmental Relations Senior Director Edgar Zazueta said the additional funding for professional development was a direct result of ACSA’s advocacy.
“This is another example that the governor’s office – they heard us that yes, we need to invest in our teachers, we need to invest in those efforts for those folks in the classroom, but it’s really important that we also dedicate some funds for school administrators in professional development,” Zazueta told ACSA’s Leadership Assembly on May 9, the same day the governor released the revised budget.
Zazueta said that while ACSA is pleased with the expenditures, there is more that could be done for the state’s highest needs students.
“We’re happy that there’s more money, but there’s no new LCFF dollars,” Zazueta said. “That’s kind of status quo, but positive given what we expected.”
The state’s base per-pupil funding set by Prop. 98 is currently $81.1 billion. While this marks a return to pre-recession levels, Smith indicated that the governor, lawmakers and education stakeholders have a responsibility to create opportunities that pull California out of the bottom 10 in per-pupil funding.
“As we work with lawmakers through the budget process, we will push to solidify full and fair funding for public education through voter-approved legislation that will provide our students with the ongoing resources they need to be college and career ready,” he said.