Sacramento Scene: January 2021

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director

Governor Gavin Newsom released the 2021-22 State Budget last week. Indicators in California point to continued economic recovery, which was reflected in the budget. Proposition 98, which funds K-14 education, set a record at $89.2 billion. The California State University and the University of California systems received a proposed 3% increase from last year’s allocation (Fensterwarld, 2021). 

In a news conference, Newsom said his goal was to address the learning loss in disproportionately impacted student populations. He stated that distance learning had not met all students’ needs in an equal manner. 

The budget allocates $2 billion to facilitate the extra costs associated with in-person instruction. The best remedy to pandemic-related disruptions to student learning are best overcome by providing in-person instruction to students. These funds can be used for COVID-19 testing, PPP equipment, improving indoor ventilation systems, hiring teachers and classified staff and social and mental health support services. 

A portion of the budget surplus will be allocated to paying off deferrals from the 2019-20 budget, as well as adding to the Proposition 98 Rainy Day Fund (Governor’s Budget Summary, 2020). 

Highlights from the 2021-22 State Education Budget

  • $89.2 billion for total spending ($85.8 billion through Prop. 98 formula) K-12 and community colleges
  • $4.6 billion for summer school and extra learning time
  • $2 billion in one-time money to augment resources for schools offering in-person instruction
  • $500 million for teacher development programs.
  • $700 million in funding for programs that help students cope with anxiety, depression, stress and other disorders
  • An additional $300 million for special education
  • $44 million toward providing 4,500 more child care vouchers for low-income families
  • The CSU budget will increase to $144.5 million – a 3% increase
  • The UC system will increase to $136 million – a 3% increase
  • Post-secondary enrollment is projected to decline which will have a negative financial impact for 2021
  • Funding for K-12 CTE programs remains status quo.  

(Fensterwarld, 2021)

Proposition 98 Spending for the Last Decade

For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit http://calagteachers.org/

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