Legislature disagrees with Newsom on how to spend extra billions on education – Lake County Record-Bee

School districts and charter schools would receive $4.5 billion more than Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing for the Local Control Funding Formula, under a proposed 2022-23 state budget that the Legislative Assembly recently published.

But to do so, lawmakers would cut some of Newsom’s favorite proposals, like his five-year, $500 million early literacy proposal to train and hire literacy coaches and reading specialists in elementary schools and 200 million to create or expand multilingual school or classroom libraries with “culturally relevant texts” to support reading. The Legislative Assembly also wants to cut an additional $1.5 billion from establishing community schools in schools with high concentrations of low-income families; the 2021-2022 budget included $3 billion to launch the program.

Literacy proposals are supported by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond’s Task Force on Early Literacy.

Since legislative leaders are basing their alternative budget on the same 2022-23 revenue projections used by Newsom, they would eliminate or reduce some of Newsom’s top priorities to make room for the $4.5 billion.

The Legislature would further reduce Newsom’s one-time funding pot by cutting $1.8 billion for deferred maintenance of K-12 facilities and cutting increased funding for dual enrollment and career paths.

All levels of higher education and pre-school education would also receive additional funding under the legislature’s plan. Creating a unified plan will allow leaders of the Senate and House, where Democrats predominate, to speak with one voice in negotiations with the governor to meet the June 15 deadline for passing bills. a budget.

Along with different priorities, Newsom’s and the legislature’s plans reflect a fundamental disagreement over how much of the state surplus should be divided between ongoing and one-time funding.

In his May budget review, Newsom proposed a permanent 9.9% increase to the funding formula, the primary source of general spending for districts and charter schools; it would include a new amount of $2.1 billion, plus an increase in the cost-of-living adjustment to reflect higher inflation. Legislative leaders would add $4.5 billion to make it 16% more — the biggest annual increase since the formula was created nine years ago. The Legislature would increase additional formula money for districts with low-income students by expanding eligibility from 185% to 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.

School districts have made more money for the funding formula their top budget priority. However, some advocates for students experiencing poverty argue that legislative leaders are advocating the wrong approach.

“We are concerned that the Legislature will propose to cut equity-focused investments in the most needy communities in favor of a middle-class expansion of the Local Control Funding Formula,” said John Affeldt, General Counsel and director of education equity for the nonprofit. Public Advocates law firm. “Using a 250 percent poverty line would dilute the current equity focus of the LCFF and send more dollars to districts that are not experiencing the effects of concentrated poverty.”

Other significant changes to Newsom’s budget include:

  • Adding $500 million to the $8 billion in one-time funding Newsom is proposing for districts, extending it to seven years and requiring districts to spend it on personnel-related expenses to help students recover from the pandemic. (Early literacy specialists and materials would qualify for this money, depending on the plan.)
  • Adding $1.2 billion to the existing home-to-school transportation program, which hasn’t been increased in nearly a decade, to move to free bus transportation for elementary schools and students low income by 2027-2028.
  • Add $1 billion for school construction and repairs to the $3.1 billion proposed by Newsom from the state’s general fund.
  • Add $250 million to Newsom’s proposed $450 million to upgrade school kitchen facilities with $100 million to purchase healthy, locally grown food.
  • Cut $385 million for teacher training in state science and math standards. (Districts could use the $850 million one-time pandemic recovery funding for this purpose, according to the plan.)

Childcare and preschool education

The Legislative Assembly is proposing approximately $1.8 billion to increase the amount of money child care centers receive to care for low-income children. The plan also sets aside funds for provider health and pension benefits in a bid to bolster the fragile childcare system.

Public child care programs, including preschool, would receive 85% of the 2018 rate, up from 75% currently, plus a cost-of-living adjustment. There would also be increased payments for 3-year-olds in public preschool programs, even as 4-year-olds migrate to transitional kindergarten.

“California leaders have failed to adequately compensate subsidized child care providers in recent years, despite strong state revenue growth,” said Kristin Schumacher, senior policy analyst for California Budget and Policy. Center, a non-profit research organization. “Governor. Newsom should absolutely follow the lead of the Legislative Assembly and continue to increase payment rates in the 2022-23 budget agreement.”

Other key early childhood education changes include $300 million in one-time funding for more pre-kindergarten planning and implementation and $650 million for facilities. preschool and kindergarten programs.

Higher Education

For California colleges and universities, the legislature’s agreement targets more spending than Newsom proposed in several key areas, including financial aid and core funding for college systems. The Joint Legislative Agreement seeks to add the following new funding to Newsom’s proposed budget:

  • $315 million in 2024-25 and $237 million in 2025-26 to fully fund the reform of Cal Grant, California’s main financial aid program. The changes, which are proposed in Assembly Bill 1746, would expand Cal Grant scholarship eligibility to an additional 150,000 students, mostly at community colleges. The Legislature is also seeking to simplify the Cal Grant program by consolidating it into just two awards, one for community college students and another for students attending four-year universities.
  • Funding to further strengthen the Cal grant, starting with $185 million in 2023-2024, by increasing the amount of the tuition-free grant to help students with living expenses.
  • An additional $100 million in 2022-23 and $200 million in 2023-24 than what Newsom has proposed for California State University’s base funding. That should be good news for the 23-campus system; Following Newsom’s revised budget proposal in May, Acting CSU Chancellor Jolene Koester said it was “discouraging” that Newsom was not offering more funding amid high inflation .
  • An additional $50 million for base funding for the University of California in 2022-23 than what Newsom has proposed.
  • A $700 million increase in Proposition 98 funding for California’s system of 116 community colleges above Newsom’s proposal.

EdSource writers Karen D’Souza and Michael Burke contributed to this article.

Julio V. Miller