Roundup: Reactions to Newsom’s State Budget Proposal

Nearly a week has passed since Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his proposed budget for 2024-25. Education experts and stakeholders have had some time to sift through the details and formulate their assessments.

We’re highlighting a few notable reactions below. 

Reactions to Gov. Newsom’s Budget Proposal

“I am grateful to Governor Newsom that there are no major reductions or pullbacks in vital education programs. By preserving our Educator Workforce Investments, Community Schools Investments, and Learning Recovery Investments, we ensure that our students, families, and educators have what they need to improve literacy, math proficiency, and social–emotional wellness. We are pleased to see the Proposition 98 guarantee slightly up from its projected value but disappointed in the Average Daily Attendance decline, with COLA at .76 percent when it was projected to be at 3.5 percent.

“Even as we tighten our belts in a tough budget year, we refuse to return to the days when children went hungry at school simply due to missing paperwork or a lack of lunch money. We must show moral clarity about the resources our children need to learn, grow, and thrive, and this budget reflects that clarity.” — Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

A collective sigh of relief today, as Governor Newsom released his 2024-2025 budget proposal. Despite expected budget challenges, crucial education initiatives remain safeguarded. The Governor underscored his ongoing commitment to maintaining predictable support for students, communities and schools by protecting prior investments to advocate for all children to have access to a high-quality education through the state’s new suite of whole child programs.

We look forward to continued conversations with the Administration and Legislature as we all work towards a budget that supports the education and wellbeing of all of our students.” — California County Superintendents President Gayle Garbolino-Mojica 

“We thank Governor Gavin Newsom for proposing a state budget that protects school funding and continues the course of implementing recent initiatives such as Universal Transitional Kindergarten and universal school meals. 

“The revised 2024-25 cost-of-living-adjustment is significantly lower than currently reflected in Los Angeles Unified’s multiyear projection, which will make it more challenging as school districts transition away from the one-time Covid-relief federal funding.  We look forward to working with Governor Newsom and the Legislature to implement fiscal solutions that recognize varying economic realities across the state such as cost of living and inflation, and minimize the impact and disruption to our school communities.” — Alberto Carvalho, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified

“As California faces a deep revenue shortfall, I’m encouraged that the proposal continues to prioritize the investments that we’ve made over the last five years. Maintaining the Local Control Funding Formula is also encouraging. 

“I am interested in the career education master plan and am encouraged by what might come out of that as we expand opportunities for our students to learn about and prepare for the jobs of the future that will fuel our economy in California and beyond. I am pleased that the governor promised to continue the commitment to work with the Legislature for a facilities bond. It is greatly needed, especially as we add another grade with transitional kindergarten.” — Sara Noguchi, superintendent of Modesto City Schools

“We are relieved that Governor Newsom isn’t addressing the state budget deficit by mortgaging the futures of our students of color and multilingual learners. Instead, we appreciate that he has chosen to protect and, in some cases, expand recent leaps forward in educational justice. 

“We appreciate that the governor has chosen to shield and even accelerate several promising TK-12 programs that are on the cusp of benefiting students of color. We are especially glad to see that his budget proposal would rightfully protect the rollout of key TK-12 initiatives (e.g. transitional kindergarten, expanded learning opportunities, and the Golden State Pathways Program) and expand the implementation of the new math framework. We will continue to work with lawmakers to ensure that these equity-centered programs are prioritized.” — Rachel Ruffalo, senior director of Strategic Advocacy, Education Trust-West 

“I appreciate the work on this draft budget and understand the difficulty and challenges that the 2024-25 fiscal year presents; however, I am disappointed in the governor’s proposal to eliminate the Student Housing Revolving Loan Fund and provide no allocation to implement the 2022 Cal Grant Reform Act. We must continue to find new ways to increase accessibility to higher education, especially for our most vulnerable communities who need these vital resources to complete higher education.

“I avidly support the governor’s goal to ensure our students are prepared to enter the workforce. Developing a Master Plan for Career Education will require collaboration with diverse stakeholders and the Legislature.  I look forward to working with the governor’s office and all parties on this critical issue.” — Mike Fong (D-Alhambra), chair, Assembly Higher Education Committee 

“The governor reinforced his commitment to education by funding schools above the Proposition 98 Minimum Guarantee, maintaining the Local Control Funding Formula at existing levels, providing for the full rollout of universal transitional kindergarten, preserving resources for student mental health, safeguarding previous gains in special education funding and signaling support for a potential school facilities bond on the November 2024 ballot. 

The budget proposal isn’t perfect — we’re concerned to see a cost-of-living adjustment below 1%, reduced school facilities funding, the continued use of unfunded mandates, and a lack of consideration for the unique challenges faced by small, rural and basic aid school districts. Yet, overall, the governor’s decision to tap into the Proposition 98 Reserve and avoid cuts to critical funding for TK-12 schools and early education demonstrates a fairly prudent approach during a difficult budget year.” — Albert Gonzalez, president, California School Boards Association

“Governor​ Newsom's 2021-22 January b​udget proposal provides a welcome reinvestment in the California State University and demonstrates his continued belief in the power of public higher education in developing future leaders of our state and improving the lives of the residents of California.

“As demonstrated over the past several years, the state's investment in the CSU has led to greater access and record levels of achievement for students under Graduation Initiative 2025, which in turn produces career-ready graduates in a timely manner. We appreciate this thoughtful proposed investment that will undoubtedly lead to more Californians from all backgrounds earning high-quality, life-transforming degrees and furthering the Golden State's economic recovery." — California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro

“Today’s state budget proposal by Governor Newsom and the $37.9 billion shortfall presents a new fiscal reality for California that will test our values and priorities. 

“We thank the Governor for his continued commitment to our state’s public education system, and we are pleased that the proposal includes funding for key programs which educators have relied upon to support students, such as community school grants and the equity multiplier. Continuing our commitment to these additional investments is more important than ever in supporting our most vulnerable students.” — California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) President and CEO Myrna Castrejón

“Governor Newsom’s proposed budget reflects his recognition of the University of California’s ongoing role in creating public good through research, public service and education. The University is a trust for every Californian. Despite a growing deficit and continued fiscal uncertainty, the governor is making thoughtful decisions during an extraordinarily difficult budget period by implementing but deferring a 5 percent funding increase pledged in the multi-year funding compact for the University. The University will receive two years’ worth of state base budget increases in 2025-26. These decisions will position our state and its students for a prosperous future once budgetary challenges subside. During economic downturns, the University of California’s role in California’s economic development is even more important and we are grateful to state leaders for their visionary leadership and commitment to maintaining the funding compact. Through this funding, our campuses have been able to expand admission and enroll even more California students while also recruiting and retaining additional top-tier faculty.

“The University remains committed to the people of California and we will continue to make vital contributions to the lives of every Californian, as we have since our founding over 150 years ago — whether that’s through our health enterprise, wildfire response, or through the discovery of clean energy at our national labs. We look forward to working with the state Legislature and Gov. Newsom in the months ahead to finalize a budget that sustains the University’s research, public service and education mission.” — University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D.