Every year, the Governor proposes an initial budget in January and revises that budget in May, once the state government has a better idea of what tax revenues look like. Once again, more money is coming in from taxes than previously projected. As a result, the Governor’s May Revise includes $128 billion in funding for California’s TK-12 schools and community colleges.
Here are the toplines:
Super COLAs and One-time Funds to the Rescue!: More LCFF history is made with a 6.56% cost-of-living adjustment. Also, the Governor is proposing $8 billion in one-time, discretionary funds to help schools address learning and staffing challenges, and provide more mental health support for students and staff.
Expanded Learning Funding Fast-Tracked: Governor Newsom adds another $400 million to fund the implementation of expanded learning opportunities – four years ahead of schedule.
But Wait, There’s More!: From community schools to closing the digital divide, we’ll highlight more of the Governor’s spending plans.
Super COLAs and One-time Funds to the Rescue!
As costs have risen in California, so too has the LCFF cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The January budget included a COLA of 5.33%, but the revision has an updated COLA of 6.56% – the largest since LCFF was introduced in 2013. Additionally, LCFF base funding will likely see a $2.2 billion increase.
Governor Newsom’s revision also includes $8 billion in one-time, discretionary funds to help schools continue on the path of pandemic recovery. The revision language stipulates that once received, these funds may be used on efforts to increase staff retention, address learning challenges, and provide mental health and wellness support for students and staff. These one-time funds will be distributed on a per-pupil basis.
Expanded Learning Funding Fast-Tracked
The Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P) is funding for “expanded learning” – programs that meet the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs and interests of students and are offered before school, after school, over the summer, or during intersession. The additional $400 million proposed in the May Revise for expanded learning means that implementation is now fully funded – four years ahead of schedule. ELO-P was officially established in 2021 and was initially projected to receive full funding in the 2025-26 fiscal year.
By the start of the 2023-24 school year, all elementary schools will be required to provide expanded learning opportunities to English Learners, foster youth, and low-income students who want services. In districts where English Learners, foster youth, and low-income students make up at least 80% of the student population, expanded learning opportunities must be offered to all elementary students.
But Wait, There’s More!
More notable highlights from the May Revise include:
- $1.5 billion to expand community school grants
- $1.1 billion over two years for current broadband infrastructure projects aimed at closing the digital divide
- $500 million in one-time funding to recruit more teachers and school counselors to the workforce through residency programs
- $100 million to the Community Engagement Initiative aimed at improving how districts engage with their communities and gather input
- $15 million to help more teachers receive a supplementary state certification in reading and literacy
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.
Darcel Sanders, Chief Executive Officer