California State PTA President Carol Green has released the following statement in response to the proposed 2022-2023 Governor’s Budget:
California State PTA is optimistic about the Governor’s January budget proposal released this week. We are pleased to see many PTA priorities in this budget proposal that includes an increase in Proposition 98 funding for the 2022-23 school year as well as adjustments to the current year (2021-22) and last year (2020-21). This represents a three-year increase of $16.1 billion over the level funded in the 2021 Budget Act.
- Nutrition: The proposed budget provides all public school students with two free meals each day regardless of income eligibility, starting in the 2022-23 school year.
- School Funding: A cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 5.33% for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which is an investment of $3.3 billion, and many other education programs that are funded outside of the LCFF.
- Early Learning and Child Care: Increase in funding for younger students: $823.7 million for 36,000 additional subsidized child care slots, and an investment of more than one billion dollars and the multi-year commitment to expand Universal Transitional Kindergarten.
- Expanded learning opportunities: Investment in both additional funds and infrastructure to support school districts in this work. This includes after school and summer school programs for the goal to have children in school up to 9 hours a day.
- Health and Safety: Funding to fight the COVID-19 pandemic $2.7 billion COVID-19 relief package to bolster testing, accelerate vaccination and booster efforts, support frontline workers and the health care system and battle misinformation. The funding includes the distribution of tests to schools and county offices of education already underway, as well as ongoing testing site enhancement and availability for the general public.
PTA is also encouraged to see proposed investments in special education, mental health services, early literacy, arts, college and career pathways, facilities, and teacher retention and recruitment.
While this proposed budget significantly increases investments in California education, it does not address the inadequate base funding of our schools. The LCFF base funding is based on 2007-08 funding levels that are not adequate for the students of 2022. While acknowledging a modest investment, we would also like to see an increased investment and focus on special education funding and policies.
California State PTA will continue to work with both the administration and Legislature to ensure the needs of California’s children and families are met. As PTA members, this is an opportunity for advocacy both locally and throughout California.