What Newsom’s Win May Mean for Education in California

Marshall Tuck held a slim lead over Tony Thurmond in the race for Superintendent of Schools as of early Thursday morning, but the race still remains too close to call. It didn’t take long after the polls closed, however, to peg the gubernatorial race. On Tuesday, California voters chose Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom as their next governor.

Newsom’s election could have important implications for California’s education system. Most notably, the former San Francisco mayor has championed a “cradle-to-career” agenda in which far more emphasis and funds would ideally be focused on the early years of a child’s life when so many critical developmental milestones are achieved.

EdSource runs through aspects of Newsom’s education agenda and what each would cost if implemented. These include:

• expanded prenatal and developmental screening for mothers and babies (estimated cost: $1 million to $3 million per year)

• expanded home visits (estimated cost unknown)

• increased, affordable childcare and greater training for childcare workers (estimated cost: $1 billion per year)

• universal preschool (estimated cost: $1.97 billion to $2.35 billion per year)

• expanded family leave (estimated cost unknown)

• an expansion of college saving accounts ($26.6 million per year)

• community school expansion (estimated cost: at least $150,000)

• expanded summer learning programs (estimated cost: $186 per week per student)

• expanded computer science programs (estimated cost: $6.5 million over five years)

• new apprenticeship programs, with the goal of creating 500,000 apprentices by 2025 (estimated cost: up to $500 million per year)

• incentives for teacher recruitment and retention (estimated cost: at least $200 million over four years)

• a new higher education coordinating council (estimated cost: $2 million per year)

• a statewide longitudinal data system to track student performance from the preschool years through higher education (estimated cost: $2 million to $3 million per year)

See EdSource’s full breakdown here

In addition to his ambitious education agenda, Newsom has called for increased transparency for the state’s charter schools. The incoming governor has vowed to sign legislation vetoed by his predecessor that would step up oversight and accountability. His stance on charters could put him at odds with the state’s next chief of schools if that person is Marshall Tuck. EdSource speculates Newsom could be tempted to bring back the Secretary of Education cabinet position for added support.

Newsom has been less vocal about his plans for higher education, but one thing we know is that he wants to see the state spend more money. Newsom has called for greater funding for the state’s public universities. He says he’d also like to see the creation of a new statewide body for higher education coordination.

Image Credit: https://flic.kr/p/5AFzVR.


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