California Educator

August/September 2021

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• $5 billion over multiple years for summer school and other enrichment programs for elementary school students. • $2.4 billion in several programs investing in teacher recruitment, training and retention. O N J U N E 2 8 , the governor signed a 2021-22 budget that will provide $93.7 billion in Proposition 98 funding to K-14 public education — the highest amount in state history. The budget significantly expands child care, adds universal transitional kindergarten for 4-year-olds over the next five years, and creates the nation's first free breakfast and lunch program for all students, starting in 2022-23. "We welcome this budget's historic commitment to public education and the support California students need at all stages of their lives, from expanding transitional kindergarten to significant investments in K-12 and higher education," says CTA President E. Toby Boyd. "We commend the governor and the Legislature for investing in academic programs, as well as men- tal health and social and family supports, including the prioritization of establishing community schools for this coming year and beyond." Highlights of the budget include: Record Education Funding New state budget includes investment in special education, community schools By Julian Peeples Independent study — Expands the state's independent study program and requires every public school district to offer a remote learning option for students who are medically fragile, cannot be vaccinated or whose parents do not feel safe sending them to school. Transitional kindergarten — Adopts universal transitional kindergar- ten, phasing in eligibility incrementally until full implementation in 2025-26. Provides ongoing funding for TK expan- sion of approximately $2.7 billion at full implementation. Special education — Increases ongoing special education funding by $396 million. Includes $550 million in one-time funds to support students with disabilities and $277.7 million in one-time federal IDEA (Indi- viduals with Disabilities Education Act) funds for local assistance. • Provision of a 5.07 percent cost-of- living adjustment (COLA) in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and for community colleges. • $3 billion to expand community schools, with health services for students, day care, and mental health and family programs. • $1.9 billion, almost entirely from federal funding, to provide $500 college savings accounts for every low-income California student in grades 1-12 in 2021-22. After this year, the state will provide $170 million annually from the general fund to create a college savings account for every low-income first grader. 36 Advocacy

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