SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020–21.
“Over the last year, my team and I have been collaborating with educational partners, including teachers and administrators all over the state, through my 13 workgroups, to establish and validate the areas of focus and priority initiatives for the California Department of Education,” said Thurmond. “Today, we were pleased to hear that many of the budget announcements were aligned with the work we have been doing. Governor Newsom and his team have produced a budget that is comprehensive, aligns with our goals to ensure equitable education for all students, and allows us to focus on helping our most vulnerable students in underserved communities.”
The budget includes the largest K–12 education per pupil expenditure in history. It proposes increasing K–12 education by $3 billion, with an investment of approximately $900 million for teacher preparation and retention.
“The Governor mentioned that students should have teachers that look more like them, and we couldn’t agree more,” said Thurmond. “We look forward to having the opportunity to invest in our teacher workforce and the pipeline of future teachers coming into the profession, specifically teachers of color and in the fields of science, math, and special education.”
The budget includes funding to allow schools to add key staffing to provide coordination and delivery of services that will help students have a healthy start and remove barriers that get in the way of academic and social success with a $300 million community schools grant and an additional $300 million in opportunity grants for wrap-around technical assistance. This will provide resources to train administrators, teachers, and students with curriculum and strategies that will solidify California’s investment in the social and emotional well-being of students.
The budget also proposes significant increases to funding for special education, both in terms of increased funding to address the growing need for existing services as well as funding for districts to provide increased or improved services.
“Our districts are faced with financial challenges to keep up with the needs of our most vulnerable student populations, and we are thankful for the financial support from the proposed budget to help our schools provide equitable educational opportunities for all of our students,” said Thurmond.
For the first time in over 10 years, the budget includes a 40 percent increase in state funding for school nutrition programs to boost the quality of meals provided and to expand access. It also includes $10 million for grants to foster innovative farm-to-school linkages that support sustainable agriculture and make more healthy foods available to our students.
Generators to help schools prepare for disasters and stay open during unforeseen power outages will be provided through a larger emergency fund through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). This gesture alone shows that the Governor and his team are listening to the needs of school districts, even when they are unprecedented and ever-changing with these new challenges brought on by public safety power shutoffs.
“I appreciate that even with declining resources, Governor Newsom has found a way to keep education as a key priority in the budget. We look forward to continuing a close partnership with him, the Legislature, and stakeholders in the next few years to increase our state’s education resources so that we can close opportunity gaps, and make sure all of California’s students have equitable opportunities to excel,” Thurmond said.
The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s website. You may also follow Superintendent Thurmond on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.