Newsom's Budget Makes Tough Calls on Education

In the face of a projected $22.5 billion budget deficit, Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed program cuts and delayed spending as part of his blueprint for the next fiscal year. And yet, all things considered, the situation could have been a lot worse for education.

Newsom’s $297 billion plan allocates $108.8 billion in Proposition 98 funding for K-12 schools and community colleges. That’s a $1.5 billion decrease from last year. On the flip side, there would be an 8.13% cost-of-living adjustment, bringing per-pupil funding to a record $23,723.

Newsom’s budget reaffirms his commitment to universal transitional kindergarten and will add $690 million to help districts offer free TK by the 2025-26 school year. The plan would also make the overdose reversal drug Naloxone available at every middle school and high school at a cost of $3.5 million.

The state’s public universities will see funding increases of 5% as long as they demonstrate improving graduation rates and in-state enrollment. But Newsom also wants to delay awaited construction projects at campuses like UC Merced and UC Riverside and put off $1.15 billion in affordable student housing funds.

Other noteworthy item include:

  • More than $8 billion for the Proposition 98 Rainy Day Fund 
  • $7.8 billion in one-time funding for the Literacy Recovery Emergency Block Grant
  • $1.5 billion in one-time funding for the Educator Effectiveness Block Grant
  • $250 million in one-time funding for literacy specialists
  • $50 million in one-time funding for educators’ professional development, plus $15 million to help 6,000 teachers to receive supplementary state certification in reading and literacy
  • $30 million for the Charter School Facility Grant Program

Read the full budget here.

For further analysis, check out CalMatters and EdSource.