On January 10, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom submitted his 2019-20 “California for All” budget proposal to the Legislature – a fiscal blueprint that builds a strong financial foundation by investing an unprecedented $13.6 billion in budget resiliency and paying down unfunded pension liabilities.
The proposed budget includes statewide funding that could impact Early Childhood education, K-12 education, and higher education, should it pass in June. Click here to read the full executive summary of the Governor’s proposed budget.
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Excerpts from the executive summary concerning public education include:
Focus on Early Childhood
The Budget includes funding for universal preschool for all income-eligible four-year-old children in the state, phased in over a three-year period. This funding will allow state preschool providers to offer full-day/full-year care to better accommodate working parents. The Budget proposes the development of a plan to achieve universal preschool for all children in California, including new revenue options to support increased enrollment. The Budget includes $500 million one-time General Fund to build child care infrastructure, including investing in the education of the child care workforce.
To promote affordability and family bonding, the Administration is committed to expanding the Paid Family Leave program with the goal of ensuring that all newborns and newly adopted babies can be cared for by a parent or a close family member for the first six months. The Budget proposes to adjust the reserve requirement for the fund that supports the Paid Family Leave program. This change will enable the state to make a down payment in expanding Paid Family Leave in the upcoming budget year while maintaining an adequate reserve. During the year, the Administration will convene a task force to consider different options to increase participation in the program and to phase in this program expansion.
Largest K-12 Education Per-Pupil Expenditure in History
The funding guarantee for K-12 schools and community colleges in 2019-20 is $80.7 billion — a new all-time high with per-pupil expenditures now nearly $5,000 higher than just 7 years ago. The Budget also funds critical work to build a longitudinal data system to better track student outcomes and increase the alignment of our educational system to the state’s workforce needs.
The Budget also includes $750 million one-time General Fund to address barriers to full-day kindergarten. About one quarter of students enrolled in kindergarten do not have access to a full-day kindergarten program. This investment will put California on a path for all kindergartners to attend full-day kindergarten.
To address the rising costs of CalSTRS pensions and provide immediate relief to districts, the Budget proposes a $3 billion one-time non-Proposition 98 General Fund payment to CalSTRS on behalf of schools (the employers). Overall, this payment is expected to provide immediate relief to school districts and will reduce the out-year contribution rate by half a percentage point.
The Budget reflects $576 million in Proposition 98 General Fund to support expanded special education services in school districts with a high concentration of special education students.
Free Two Years Community College & Long-Term Investments in Higher Education
The Budget includes $1.4 billion ($942 million ongoing) for higher education to support increased enrollment, improved time to degree and a tuition freeze. Segments serving a higher number of students receive a greater amount of the increased resources. The Budget proposes funding for two free years of community college tuition for first-time, full-time students.
University of California—$240 million ongoing General Fund for operational costs; student success, student hunger and housing initiatives; ongoing support for graduate medical education; and mental health resources. The Budget also includes $138 million one-time General Fund for deferred maintenance.
California State University—$300 million ongoing General Fund for operational costs, increased enrollment, and for continued progress toward the equity goals of the Graduation Initiative 2025. The Budget also includes $247 million in one-time General Fund for the expansion of on-campus child care facilities serving students and deferred maintenance, and $15 million in one-time General Fund for student hunger and housing initiatives.
Community Colleges—$402 million ongoing Proposition 98 General Fund, including a 3.46-percent COLA, enrollment growth, legal services for undocumented students and families, and providing a second year of free tuition.