California Educator

February/March 2024

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Page 35 of 59

G O V E R N O R G A V I N N E W S O M ' S proposed 2024–25 State Budget, released in mid-January, continues a commitment to K–14 education despite an estimated budget shortfall. Newsom's overall budget includes $291.5 billion in total funds ($208.7 billion General Fund). It anticipates that Gen- eral Fund revenues will be $42.9 billion lower than the 2023 Budget Act projections, mainly due to weaker-than-expected state revenues, delayed tax deadlines and overspending based on earlier budget projections. After accounting adjust- ments, the state faces an estimated budget gap of $37.8 billion in the 2024–25 fiscal year. Total TK–12 education funding: The proposed budget includes total funding of $126.8 billion for all TK–12 educa- tion programs. TK–12 per-pupil funding totals $17,653 Prop. 98 (the funding formula determining the portion of the state's General fund that must be spent on TK–12 and com- munity colleges) and $23,519 per pupil when accounting for all funding sources. Total community college funding: Newsom's budget provides $13.6 billion in Prop. 98 funding for the California community colleges (CCC) in 2024–25. Total funding for the CCC in 2024–25 is $21.6 billion. Newsom's budget addresses the education funding gap by withdrawing about $7 billion from the $10.8 billion Prop. 98 TK–14 rainy day fund, approved by voters in 2014, to cover the shortfall in 2023–24 and 2024–25. "Governor Newsom's proposed budget continues to keep our state's commitment to equitable access to a quality public education and resources for all California students," said CTA President David Goldberg in a statement following Newsom's budget presentation. " The governor 's ongoing commitment to public education means that school districts and community colleges will be able to build on the recent investments in education that have expanded learning opportunities for students. "We are especially pleased that the governor remains unwavering in his commitment to Community Schools. With the historic $4.1-billion investment maintained, California is on the road to making one in four California schools a Community School. This prioritizes democratic decision- making, racial justice and the needs of students." The governor 's plan for universal transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-old children by 2025 also remains intact in the budget, with Newsom proposing to "rebench" Prop. 98 upward. (Rebenching increases the minimum guarantee for programs shifted into Prop. 98 by allocating funds from the state's General Fund.) Additionally, the Prop. 98 guarantee for the Arts and Music in Schools–Funding Guarantee and Accountability Act (approved by voters in November 2022) will be rebenched by $938 million. The Prop. 98 portion spent on TK–14 will rise about one percentage point to 39.5% of the general fund. In 2024–25, Prop. 98 funds will be $109.1 billion. The Legislative Analyst's Office and the State Legislature review Newsom's January budget over the next few months; the governor submits his May Revision by May 14. The Legis- lature has until June 15 to adopt it. "CTA will continue to work with lawmakers throughout this year 's budget process to ensure the final budget reflects the will of California voters, educators and parents to prioritize public schools and colleges," said Goldberg. " We will work to ensure there are no layoffs to educa- tors and school employees as we have seen in some past budget deficit years. Layoffs are devastating and chaotic for educators, students and communities. The budget shortfall this year, and the potential for cuts or freezes to vital services that people depend on, highlight the need for long-term, consistent investment in all public services, including public schools. "California is the fifth largest economy in the world, and our students deserve nothing less than an education system that reflects that economic strength." K–12 Spending Proposals Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF): The governor 's budget includes a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 0.76% for the LCFF. When combined with student attendance adjustments, the budget includes a decrease of $1.4 billion in Proposed budget keeps equitable access to quality public education and resources for all students Governor Remains Committed to Education State Budget: Gov. Gavin Newsom 34 Advocacy

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