ASHLEYHOPKINSON/EDSOURCE
A 4-year-old practices his fine motor skills during a summer bridge program in Oakland, CA. Summer bridge programs help to create a smoother transition to K-3 system for children with limited preschool experience.

On Jan. 10, 2020 Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his proposed budget for California for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1, 2020. Departing from tradition, instead of making short remarks and turning to his finance director to provide more detail, Newsom spent nearly three hours explaining his budget himself. By far the most extensive remarks were about education, an indication of the high priority Newsom is placing on it. As a public service, EdSource is providing a lightly edited transcript of Newsom’s remarks on his early education budget proposals below. For more details on his early childhood proposals, go here. And go here to read his comments on his K-12 proposals, and his higher education proposals here.

We have another agenda that we talked about last year. It’s called the Parent’s Agenda. We’ve brought it up because we believe deeply that if you’re going to support children, you’ve got to support their caregivers. You’ve got to support their parents

You recall last year we committed to providing universal preschool for all eligible 4-year-olds. We said we would do that over a three-year period. We made historic investments last year, not only in new (preschool) slots, but in infrastructure. That’s human capital, workforce and physical capital — actually building out the facilities, leasing the facilities, retrofitting the facilities.

We noted last year that this is a multi-year effort. Even if we dumped all the money in the world into this, we couldn’t spend it. Boy, was that not an exaggeration. There’s still an unprecedented number of dollars that are rolling over. That just reinforces the fact that we don’t want to go slow here. We just want to do this right. It’s high-quality access to affordable preschool and childcare. Let us not make the mistake of getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s do this right and thoughtfully.

You recall, we put together a task force and funded the task force. We got the coalition to end all coalitions participating in this task force. They’re laying out a strategy to integrate with our full-day kindergarten programs or transitional kindergarten programs to really look at the state infrastructure, build that architecture physically, literally and also figuratively and begin that process over the course of the next few years. We also provided in this space last year, some collective bargaining support for our childcare providers, which will create an advocacy arm in this space the likes of which we have never seen. That is one of the principle drivers not only to provide for the investments and to support our caregivers, who are disproportionately women of color, but also to provide advocacy.

We put more money in full-day kindergarten last year. It’s some $300 million. We created the new Surgeon General’s office.

California is a nation-state. You might as well have a surgeon general. She’s probably the best decision I made last year. Universal approval ratings for our surgeon general, my wife’s old friend focusing on ACEs (adverse childhood experiences). We put $107 million toward trauma-informed training last year. We focused on enhancing and advancing our home-visiting black infant program last year because of incredible leadership from Holly Mitchell. We put an unprecedented investment in CalWORKs, $157.5 million for Stage Two and Three supports. We increased our reimbursement rates to 50% of federal poverty rates. We increased our efforts on paid parental leave: We went from six to eight weeks, with the goal of six months of leave per parent. We increased the reimbursement rates. We created these child savings accounts, something I did as mayor of San Francisco and something representative Nazarian (Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, D-San Fernando Valley) and others have been an advocate for and something that we want to continue to expand.

But in order to get to where we want to go, we need to do something differently. And that’s why this year we want to establish a Department of Early Childhood Development. We have all of these groups doing great work, but not together. This is something the advocacy community has been calling for for years. We weren’t prepared last year to advance it. I wanted to fund this space and now this year we’re prepared to roll out this program, to talk about efficiency, talk about the issues of fragmentation.

And we will also increase investments (in preschool). We will do our year two commitment of the three-year (plan). We will get all eligible 4-year olds universal preschool in the state of California.

I will stand up here, God willing this time next year, to advance the final third year of investment. Today I’m announcing the second year investment on enhancing those slots. It’s slightly more in this space than we put in last year. Last year it annualized to about a $127 million. In the budget year it was $31.4 (million). This year, it’s $31.9 million. It annualized to $130 million for preschool.

We’re putting an additional $75 million in expansion grants for facilities. And we’re taking some of this money that we put in. This was the point I made a moment ago about money’s not the answer to every problem. It’s incredibly important, but it’s not in itself going to solve problems. Governor Brown put $100 million into full-day kindergarten. I put in $300 million with the Legislature’s augmentations and supports. We wanted to put in a little more, they wanted to put in a little less.

It turns out they were right. I was a little exuberant. I’m glad they put less because we couldn’t spend a lot. We still have $300 million left of that $400 million. We want to now roll that over and make some of that full-day kindergarten money available for preschools. Why does that matter? Ask member McCarty why that matters. They’re going to, I think, be pleased. Now we’re going to create some flexibility with this money. You’ll still have plenty of resources this year we believe for full-day kindergarten, but we want to make some more resources available for preschool capital, which I know was an end-of-session issue and we recognize it as a legitimate issue and want to create some support for it.

We’re doing $53.8 million of additional support for CalWORKs stage two and three for childcare. We are going to add additional resources from the cannabis space. As you know, we’re using cannabis money to help support childcare.

There’ll be more cannabis resources this year than last year for those that believe that that is going backwards. You will be disabused of that later in my presentation and that is good news from the childcare perspective. There’s an additional $10.3 million just from the cannabis fund for additional slots.

We’re going to add more ACEs screening money and we are going to address the issue of job protection this year for our paid family leave providers. That’s something that we were hoping to do last year. We are fortunate that we have teed it up for this year. I think that will be well received by the legislature. We’ve got six to eight weeks of family leave now. We’ve got a work group that’s going to figure out how to finance the next iteration in stages to ultimately get to that six-month goal. But in the interim, second year commitment is job protections now being extended for those providing caregiving and obviously baby bonding, which is incredibly important.

We put in additional money to help small businesses. There’s a grant through the EDD (Employment Development Department) for small businesses because Holly Mitchell would be outside protesting me. I say that lovingly, we do (provide) additional resources for CalWORKs, $98.1 million. It’s never enough, but there’s also some child support collection work that was unfinished from last year. I want to thank the Legislature for their work in this space. I heard you. We included some money this year: $17 million in that space as well to address their prioritization, which was wise.

Share Article

Comments (2)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * *

Comments Policy

We welcome your comments. All comments are moderated for civility, relevance and other considerations. Click here for EdSource's Comments Policy.

  1. Robert Pattinson 1 week ago1 week ago

    A great budget proposal by Gov. Gavin Newsom. It’s a very good initiative to educate every single child with basic schooling. This will surely develop self-confidence among the children.

  2. Walter White 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

    Thank you for the update about the budget proposals on early education by Gov. Gavin Newsom. It is good to see that the government is focusing on early education. I will come back again to read more in the education field. Thank you once again for sharing this post.