May Revise Spells Out Leaner Times for Public Education
Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a $306.5 billion revised budget Friday, scaled back to account for a $31.5 billion shortfall. That’s up from the $22.5 billion projected deficit announced just four months ago. A year ago, Newsom was touting a surplus of nearly $100 billion.
The Governor struck an austere tone Friday, explaining the need to “maintain our prudence.” The state is facing significant economic uncertainty, buoyed by an extension of the tax filing deadline in most counties. That uncertainty could complicate the next month of negotiations between Newsom and lawmakers.
The new proposal would allocate $106.8 billion from Proposition 98 to school districts and community colleges. That’s $2 billion less than what was proposed in January and $4 billion less than what was included in California’s historic budget two years ago.
The 8.2% cost of living adjustment for K-12 and community college staff would remain unchanged. However, billions in one-time funding for learning recovery and the arts would be cut.
The May revision also scales back funding for transitional kindergarten, which has not attracted the number of participants the state had hoped. The plan puts TK investments at $357 million — down from $604 million proposed in January.
Some programs would get more, not less, funding under the new plan. These include the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program (+ $20 million) and dyslexia screening efforts.
The May revise largely maintains prior commitments for the University of California and California State University systems, providing 5% increases to each. UC schools would get approximately $216 million and CSU would get approximately $227 million. However, in light of the budget shortfall, Newsom wants to delay investments in affordable student housing and change how colleges can get housing funds.