What We’re Watching in California Education – January 2022 Edition

Welcome to the January 2022 edition of What We’re Watching in California Education, a newsletter we hope will offer you insight into public education conversations happening at our state Capitol. 

Here are the toplines: 

Governor’s Proposed 2022-23 BudgetInitial budget projections are in! Base spending on education in California is set to exceed $100 billion for the first time in state history. 

Enrollment Challenges Spark Funding Conversations: Is this the end of ADA? New bills propose to change how schools receive funding.  

Shortened Assessments: FYI California families: students will take a shortened version of ELA and math SBAC assessments this spring. 


Governor’s Proposed 2022-23 Budget

Last week, the Governor released his proposal for the 2022-23 state budget. California tax revenues continue to exceed expectations, driving a projected $45 billion surplus in the state budget. Much of that money will make its way to California TK-12 schools and community colleges, with base spending set to exceed $100 billion for the first time in state history. 

It’s important to note that this budget will almost certainly change as we learn more about exact tax revenues and as the Governor negotiates with the state Senate and Assembly over the coming months. 

For now, the Governor is proposing significant investments across TK-16 education, including: 

  • $24 billion in additional funding overall, two-thirds of which will be one-time funding;
  • A $3.3 billion (5.3%) cost-of-living increase in LCFF funding to TK-12 districts;
  • $1 billion to continue to expand the state’s transitional kindergarten program, which is slated to serve all four-year-olds by 2025; 
  • $1.5 billion in funding to expand high school career pathways, including partnerships with higher education institutions;
  • An additional $3.4 billion (above the $1 billion already set aside last year) for districts to provide additional extended day and summer learning opportunities for students based on rates of low-income students, English Learners, and foster youth in grades TK-6;
  • An additional $54 million for investments in teacher recruitment and programs to make it easier to earn a credential (above the $2.9 billion provided last year); and
  • $600 million to continue providing two meals a day at school to all TK-12 students.
Enrollment Challenges Spark Funding Conversations 

Last school year, K-12 enrollment fell by almost 3% statewide – experts expect this trend to continue well into the next decade. As such, education leaders and policymakers are eager to find solutions to what could become a significant financial challenge for districts across the state. 

California is one of six states that bases funding on attendance, formally known as Average Daily Attendance (ADA). Two bills are proposing changes to the K-12 funding formula: SB 830, introduced by Senator Portantino, would instead provide schools with supplemental funds, courtesy of California’s projected $45 billion budget surplus. In order to receive these funds, schools would need to submit an “average daily membership calculated by dividing the total enrollment by the total number of instructional days. SB 830 would also require schools to use at least 50% of the funds received to support attendance efforts. AB 1607, introduced by Assemblymember Muratsuchi, calls for the Local Control Funding Formula to calculate average daily attendance based on a school’s three-year average. 

We’ll look to provide further analysis on these bills as it becomes available.

Shortened Assessments 

At the September 2021 State Board of Education meeting, the Board decided to approve the administration of shortened ELA and math assessments. The action taken by the Board followed a recommendation from the California Department of Education. However, the shortened form of assessment means that parents will not receive their child’s scores on several of the core components of both the ELA and math test. For this reason, GO joined several advocacy groups and community organizations in opposing the shortened assessments, holding true to our belief that parents and caregivers need as much information as possible about their student’s performance – not less.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on What We’re Watching in California Education. Let us know what you liked and what you’d like to see in future editions.

In Community,

Darcel Sanders, Chief Executive Officer 

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