California Legislature approves state budget; here are the highlights for education funding

June 26, 2020

With crossed fingers, the Legislature passed and sent a 2020-21 state budget to Gov. Gavin Newsom that will rely on $14 billion in additional congressional coronavirus relief to avert cuts to early and higher education. State funding for K-12 schools will be the same as last year, although school districts and charter schools will have to wait for a year to be repaid for $11 billion in funding.

The sudden onset of the coronavirus created havoc with the state’s economy, opening up a $54 billion budget gap of higher expenses and plunging revenues since Newsom presented his initial budget in January.

The Legislature approved the final, balanced budget along party lines — 29-11 in the Senate and 57-16 in the Assembly — with Republicans criticizing the reliance on borrowing and an extensive use of the state’s rainy day fund.

Following are the highlights in the budget for education.

Prop. 98 funding will fall from $81.5 in 2019-20 to $70.5 billion next year.

Increases for K-12

Other K-12 changes

Community colleges

In response to reports of uneven access and low-quality distance learning during school closures, legislators will require districts to do the following (see section 43502 of AB-77):

  • Confirm that all students have access to a computer and internet at home in order to participate in distance learning.
  • Provide standards-aligned content and instruction.
  • Provide daily live interaction with students “for the purposes of instruction, progress monitoring and maintaining school connectedness”.
  • Maintain regular communication with parents on student progress.
  • Establish procedures to re-engage students who are absent for more than 60% of instruction per week.
  • Provide academic supports for English learners, students with disabilities, foster youth, homeless students and students who have fallen behind in their academic progress.
  • Continue special education services.
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