Senate Budget Plan Includes Billions in New Education Funding

Senate President Toni G. Atkins and Senate Budget & Fiscal Committee Chair Nancy Skinner released a spending plan for 2022-23 on Thursday that includes generous increases for education.

The Senate’s Putting Wealth to Work budget proposal “would continue to prioritize a more equitable economy to benefit struggling and middle class families and build historic levels of reserves,” according to a press release from Atkins’ office. 

“California’s economy is going strong, and thanks to more than a decade of responsible budgeting and the voter-approved revenue system that requires the wealthy to pay their fair share, the state has an unprecedented $68 billion in available General Fund resources.”

The spending plan includes:

  • $1 billion for early childhood education, part of which will be used to increase early education provider reimbursement rates
  • $5 billion base increase in discretionary funding for local K-12 school districts, which would increase to $10 billion by 2024-25; $10 billion in one-time funds spread over multiple years to mitigate learning loss; new funds for Home-to-School Transportation; and billions in funding for school facilities and deferred maintenance
  • Increased base funding for UC, CSU, and Community Colleges; $1.5 billion to expand student housing for UC, CSU, and Community Colleges; $3.2 billion to reduce deferred maintenance across all three systems; $450 million grant for community college mental health and basic needs; $176 million for Cal Grant improvements and $227 million for next-step Middle Class Scholarship funding to reduce student debt and fully-fund the MCS beginning in 2024-25 to provide debt-free college for all lower- and middle-income CSU and UC students

Budget discussions between lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom will heat up after Newsom releases his revised budget, expected by May 15.