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By Julian Peeples

“The unprecedented investments prioritized in today’s budget proposal will be instrumental in the learning resiliency and recovery of our 8 million students.”
—CTA President E. Toby Boyd

Governor Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to live up to his commitment to neighborhood public schools and colleges with a record $102 billion in Proposition 98 guaranteed funding — $8.2 billion more than last year’s historic level — in his proposed 2022-23 state budget, released in January.

The budget includes an additional $3.3 billion in Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) discretionary funds to provide a 5.33 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), and increases Prop. 98 per-pupil funding to $15,261.

“The unprecedented investments prioritized in today’s budget proposal will be instrumental in the learning resiliency and recovery of our 8 million students,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “The pandemic has made clear that living in the state with the fifth-largest economy in the world doesn’t mean all students in our schools and communities have the resources and services they need to succeed.”

The budget proposal provides resources for learners from cradle to college, with $639 million to expand transitional kindergarten, as well as $12.7 billion for California Community Colleges, an increase of $560 million from last year.

“Access to early childhood education and transitional kindergarten for all students is essential to giving our youngest learners the strong start they need,” says Boyd. “We appreciate the governor’s commitment to ensure learning readiness, and the significant funding for higher education will help ensure more students can afford college.”

Other highlights of the budget proposal:

Special Education: Provides an additional $500 million in ongoing funding for special education.

College and Career Pathways: Proposes $1.5 billion in one-time funding over four years to support the development of pathway programs focused on technology, health care, education and climate-related fields.

School Nutrition: Provides $596 million to fund universal access to subsidized school meals. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, all public schools will be required to provide two free meals per day to any student who requests a meal, regardless of income eligibility.

Educator Workforce: Proposes $54.4 million to enhance schools’ ability to hire qualified teachers and substitutes.

Early Literacy: Proposes $500 million in one-time funding to train and hire literacy coaches and reading specialists to guide productive classroom instruction, and to offer one-on-one and small-group intervention for struggling readers. Includes $200 million in one-time funding for the creation and expansion of multilingual school or classroom libraries offering culturally relevant texts to support reading instruction.

Expanded Learning Opportunities Program: Proposes an additional $3.4 billion in ongoing Prop. 98 funding for the program, which provides students in low-income communities with no-cost access to developmentally appropriate academics and enrichment activities.

State Preschool Program: Includes $308 million in total funding to increase the State Preschool Program adjustment factors for students with disabilities and dual-language learners. The budget also proposes $500 million in one-time funding to support the Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program.

Community Colleges: Includes an increase of $200 million in ongoing funding to expand health care coverage provided to part-time faculty. Proposes an increase of $130 million in one-time funding to support health care-focused vocational pathways for English learners through the Adult Education Program. Proposes $325 million to align with community colleges’ multiyear roadmap, including investments in expanded Cal Grants, the implementation of a common course numbering system, and transfer reform provisions.

Independent Study: Proposes changes and flexibility to the current independent study program and timeline.

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: Proposes new legislation to extend additional COVID sick leave.

Public education accounts for approximately 40 percent of all state general fund spending. Funding received by school districts fluctuates annually based on revenues, per capita personal income, and school attendance.

The state Legislature is reviewing the proposed budget prior to Gov. Newsom’s May revision. The budget must be passed before midnight on June 15.

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