California Educator

February 2015

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Governor's budget proposal promises brighter days By Len Feldman Spending plan continues to restore past cuts On Jan. 9, Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a new budget that would bring an additional $7.8 billion to K-14 public schools. The pro- posed 2015-16 spending plan would also provide billions aimed at restoring programs and services decimated by nearly a decade of brutal cuts. Under the plan, K-12 funding would rise by $2,600 per pupil in 2015-16 over 2011-12 levels. "Education took the biggest cuts, and because of Proposition 98, they are being restored," Gov. Brown told reporters when he unveiled his proposal in Sacramento. CTA President Dean E. Vogel recognized the governor's ongoing fiscal support for schools. "We see the governor's continued commit- ment to a brighter future for our state. He's allocating funds to repay the billions of dollars that had been cut from students, schools and colleges." The governor noted that about a third of the budget aims to help Californians living in poverty, and he noted the impetus behind the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is to help shrink the student achievement gap, which reflects socioeconomic conditions, includ- ing poverty. The governor's office reports that the 2015-16 budget C A L I F O R N I A I S S L O W L Y beginning the long climb back from the bottom nationally in funding for its students with the continued commitment of a pro-education governor and the support of voters who passed a tax increase, Proposition 30, to ben- efit public education. will allocate $4 billion more than previously projected, which will help fully implement the LCFF at a faster rate than was expected last year. American society and California policymakers in particular have been wrestling for generations about how to bridge the economic divides affecting children and families, said Gov. Brown. "Strength- ening labor unions raises wages. Education does the same." One day before the governor announced his budget, Education Week reported that California's ranking had moved up slightly — to 46th nationally — in per-pupil funding. "Even with the fruits of Prop. 30 and unprecedented revenue increases, we're still at the bottom nationally on how much we invest in our students," said Vogel. "We look forward to working with the governor and all law- makers for a productive legislative session that will move us toward a brighter future." The governor's budget proposal boosts K-14 school funding by more than $7.8 billion, including increases tied to the 2013-14 and current school years. For California's educators, the inauguration of Gov. Jerry Brown was an important and joyful celebration. Congratulating the governor at the historic fourth gubernatorial inauguration were CTA's executive officers Eric Heins, Mikki Cichocki and Dean Vogel. Advocacy Legislative 30

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