Governor Newsom’s May 2021 Revise budget, buoyed by an unexpected surge in California’s tax revenues, helps repair the deep budget cuts of the pandemic and allows the state to start to invest more to support children, families and schools.
In just one year, the California budget has moved from a $54 million deficit to a projected $75 billion surplus. When combined with new federal funding under the American Rescue Plan, California has an additional $100 billion in funding surplus.
California State PTA is delighted that the proposed budget invests in long-time PTA priorities, including early education, summer school and after school programs, mental health, nutrition, community schools and targeted support for our most needy students.
We also strongly support many of the investments in families and children outside of the education budget that address poverty, climate change, and health and human services, particularly efforts to reduce child poverty.
- Early Education: Universal access to transitional kindergarten.
- Expanded Learning: Year-round access to enrichment activities and before/after-school supplemental education programs for children in low-income communities. Note: additional funding needed to adequately address the needs of all students.
- Quality Teaching: Funding to retain, recruit, train and support teachers.
Student Support. Funding for additional teachers, including more school counselors, social workers, and nurses.
- Nutrition: Increased access to school-wide nutrition programs.
- Community Schools: Better integrated relationship between schools and health care plans, county health, and social services to provide school-based services to children. Grants for up to 1,400 local educational agencies (more than 60 percent of local educational agencies statewide) to convert school campuses into full-service community schools.
- Closing the Digital Divide: Greater student access to broadband internet and computer technology, both in the classroom and at home.
- Special Education: Federal and state funds for special education, particularly to address the impact of the pandemic, dispute resolution and inclusive practices.
- Distance Learning: Not Properly Addressed
We are deeply concerned that the state has not created a plan for high-quality distance learning. Not only is this important for students and families who can not or do not want to return to in person learning but also for innovative instruction going forward to meet the needs of students who thrive in this environment.
We believe families need quality distance learning options for the coming school year and beyond. The Governor’s current proposal to incorporate distance learning into independent learning fails to provide the on-going quality options students need.
PTA is advocating for a quality distance learning option that is equivalent to in-person learning for any family or student that needs it.
Maintaining a quality distance learning option will serve us as a state in the event of future unanticipated events. We should not waste this opportunity to prepare for the future.
Even with this welcome increase in state revenue, California per pupil funding still remains below the national average when adjusted for regional differences. Funding is estimated to be $13,977 per student in the coming year.
Summary of Major Proposals with Funding Allocations
You can find a quick summary of major state and federal education budget investments here.
Now the Governor’s May Revise will be heard by the budget committees and be voted on by June 15th with a deadline of July 1 to be signed by the Governor.