Gov. Newsom signs state budget with record funding for education
With no fanfare outside of a press release, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion state budget Thursday that includes a record $128 billion for TK-12 schools and community colleges.
He did so on the final day before the new fiscal year on July 1 and only five days after he and legislative leaders completed negotiations. Over the last 24 hours, the Legislature plowed through no fewer than 29 budget trailer bills that flesh out the budget details and, as in the past, adopt policies without going through a hearing process.
For most Californians, the big news is the cash refunds, ostensibly to offset the high cost of gasoline, from $200 to $1,050, to taxpayers. For school districts and charter schools, it’s the $9.2 billion increase – 13.7% – in the Local Control Funding Formula, the general fund that districts will use to meet basic expenses, cover inflationary costs and create incentives and raises to retain staff and lure new hires to fill growing vacancies. They will also have a $7.9 billion grant to spend on Covid recovery, which, among many permitted uses, could be spent on tutors, a high priority of parents but in short supply.
For parents of elementary school-aged children, there will be billions to add three hours of after-school activities and summer school; for even younger children, the first phase-in of transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds.
For college students, there are plans, contingent on funding in 2024, to expand the Cal Grant, the state’s main financial aid program, for an additional 150,000 students eligible for aid starting in 2024-25.
For more details on the education budget, go here.
Beside Newsom at the signing were the Legislature’s key negotiators: Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, Senate Budget Committee Chair Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood.