Ed Trust–West Responds to Governor Newsom’s 2020-2021 Budget Proposal


In response to Governor Newsom’s 2020-2021 California State Budget proposal, Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of Ed Trust–West issued the following statement:


In an era when leaders shy away from giving real attention to the need to address racial disparities, I am proud to be a Californian as Governor Gavin Newsom emphasizes true investment in people and progress. These budget investments present the opportunity to improve the lives of California’s students and communities and set the tone for the future of our state and nation. There is a path forward but for California to reach its full potential, the state will need to raise additional revenues to shore up and provide adequate funding so all students, especially students of color and low-income students, have the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

In particular, we are thrilled to see the Governor’s following investments across the education pipeline:

Early Education & K-12 Education

This year’s proposal builds off of continued investments in universal preschool and exhibits a renewed investment to our state’s youngest talent, including the addition of 10,000 additional slots in the State Preschool Program. We are also excited to see plans for a new Department of Early Childhood Development to help bring much-needed coherence and coordination to systems and programs serving our earliest learners.

The budget proposal underscores the importance of an educator workforce by investing in teacher training and putting dollars toward staffing high-need subject areas and in high-need communities. This is vitally important as we know there are alarming disparities in access to STEM courses in schools serving low-income students of color. As part of our Seen, Heard, Reflected campaign, we are working together with our partners across the state to support educator diversity and retention efforts and look forward to continued partnership with the Governor and the California Department of Education on these issues.

Additionally, we are encouraged about more resources for equity-centered improvement at schools and districts with the highest need. This is an issue we have been advocating for along with our partners and fellow equity champions. We look forward to more detail on how the Opportunity Grants will be implemented to support school improvement focused on the most marginalized students.

Higher Education

California takes great pride in its higher education campuses, and we are thankful to see Governor Newsom’s increased funding for the CC, CSU, and UC systems as well as plans to better support students by investing in rapid rehousing at all three college segments. The investments made in higher education suggest Governor Newsom understands the complex college affordability challenges we must tackle. However, we desperately need the Governor’s leadership to ensure that more students are aware of their financial aid options and that Cal Grant reform reflects what student voices have shared for years– current financial aid efforts and resources are not adequate to fund student need and success. Our All In For Financial Aid Campaign includes a host of resources that high schools and districts can pursue to improve financial aid access and awareness.  

We are also thankful to see that the Governor remains committed to the Student Centered Funding Formula and its framework intended to direct resources to colleges serving underserved students that need and deserve more, including first-generation students. It will take stronger investment in the funding formula and accountability to truly meet the needs of students of color and low-income students pursuing continued education.”



The State Budget Process

Each year the Governor and the Legislature develop the state’s budget. Policymakers’ decisions during this process have a ripple effect across every aspect of state government, including California’s early, K-12, and higher education systems.

  • In January of each year, the Governor proposes a state budget for the following fiscal year that begins on July 1st.
  • In the spring, the Legislature holds hearings on parts of the proposed budget.
  • In May, the Governor revises the proposed budget according to updated state revenues received in April. The revised budget is called the May Revision or “May Revise”.
  • The Legislature may add to, or change, the Governor’s proposals and differences between proposals are negotiated as the final budget takes shape in the Legislature. The Legislature also develops and passes “trailer bills,” which direct the budget’s implementation. The Legislature must adopt the final budget by June 15th.
  • Finally, the Governor signs the budget by July 1st, and has the discretion to reduce or eliminate any expenditure by line- item veto.

Budget At-A-Glance

Early Education

  • Department of Early Childhood Development: The Budget proposes to establish a Department of Early Childhood Development under the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), effective July 1, 2021. The new department will promote a high-quality, affordable, and unified early childhood system that improves program integration and coordination. The Budget includes $8.5 million from the General Fund for a transition team at CHHS to launch this effort.
  • Subsidized Childcare: CalWORKs is California’s safety net program that provides cash aid to eligible, needy families. CalWORKs Child Care is administered in 3 stages. Stage 2 provides access to child care for recipients whose situation has stabilized or are transitioning off of the program. Stage 3 serves former CalWORKs families after they have been off aid for 24 months and for families that receive lump-sum diversion services. The Budget proposes an increase of $53.8 million in non-Proposition 98 General Funds for CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3 Child Care. The Budget also proposes $50 million from the Cannabis Fund to support over 3,000 General Child Care slots previously funded with General Funds, and an additional $10.3 million from the Cannabis Fund for an increase of 621 General Child Care slots.
  • Universal Preschool: The Budget proposes an increase of $31.9 million to support an additional 10,000 slots in the State Preschool Program at non-Local Educational Agencies beginning in April 1, 2021.
  • Early Childhood Health and Wellness: The Budget proposes $10 million in one-time General funds for the development of an adverse childhood experiences, cross-sector training program that will be accredited by the Office of the Surgeon General. A statewide adverse childhood experiences public awareness campaign would also be a part of this work.


Kindergarten Through Grade 12

  • Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF): The Budget proposes a $1.2 billion increase for the LCFF, which reflects a 2.29 percent cost-of-living adjustment and brings total LCFF funding to $64.2 billion.
  • Fiscal Accountability: The Budget proposes $600,000 in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to improve LCFF fiscal accountability through the development of an online Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) portal. The portal would co-locate the School Accountability Report Card and the LCAP online to make it easier to access both tools.
  • Educator Recruitment and Professional Development: The Budget invests $900 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to expand teacher and administrator training and recruitment, especially in the state’s low-income schools. This includes:
    • $350 million in additional funding provided for the Educator Workforce Investment Grants established in the 2019 budget
    • $18 million to the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence to bolster awareness of available services and supports
    • $193 million for the Workforce Development Grant Program to address workforce shortages in high-need subjects and schools
    • $175 million to expand the Teacher Residency Program
    • $100 million for the California Teacher Credential Award Program to provide $20,000 stipends to fully credentialed teachers who complete four years of teaching service in a high-need subject at a high-need school
    • $64.1 million to expand the California Classified School Employees Credentialing Program
  • Special Education: The Budget proposes a three-phase, multi-year process to improve special education finance, services, and student outcomes.
  • Community Schools: The Budget proposes $300 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to establish community school grants for local educational agencies supporting innovative community school models.
  • School and District Improvement: The Budget proposes $300 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to establish Opportunity Grants for the states lowest-performing schools and districts, and expand the capacity of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence in its role within the statewide system of support.
  • Computer Science: To expand access to computer science, the Budget proposes the following:
    • $15 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for grants to local educational agencies to support the preparation of 10,000 K-12 teachers to earn authorizations teach computer science
    • $2.5 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for a county office of education to identify, compile, and share computer science resources for professional development, curriculum, and best practices
    • $1.3 million in one-time non-Proposition 98 General Funds to develop a new UC Subject Matter Project in computer science and $340,000 in non-Proposition 98 General Funds for 1,200 educators to participate.
  • School Nutrition: The Budget proposes $60 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to improve the quality of subsidized school meals and encourage participation in state and federal school nutrition programs. The Budget also proposes $10 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to provide training for school food service workers to promote healthier meals.


Higher Education

Legal Services for Undocumented Individuals

  • University of California (UC): The Budget proposes an increase in $345,000 in on-going General Funds for this purpose.
  • California State University (CSU): No new funding is proposed for this purpose.
  • California Community Colleges (CCC): The Budget proposes an increase of $10 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to provide legal services to immigrant students, faculty, and staff on community college campuses.
  • Summer Financial Aid Program at the UC and CSU: The Budget shifts the suspension date for the CSU Summer Financial Aid program from December 31, 2021 to June 30, 2023. The suspension would be lifted if the Administration determines through the 2023 Budget Act process that there is sufficient General Fund revenue to support all suspended programs in the subsequent two fiscal years.
  • Cal Grant Awards for Private Non-Profit: The Budget assumes that independent institutions, as a sector, will meet the Associate Degrees for Transfer acceptance requirements needed to maintain the maximum Cal Grant tuition award at $9,084 for students attending these schools.
  • Rapid Rehousing Programs: The Budget proposes $19 million in ongoing General Funds to the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges to support rapid rehousing of homeless and housing-insecure students.

University of California

  • Base Resources: The Budget proposes an increase of $169.2 million in ongoing General Funds, which represents an increase in base resources of five percent, with the expectation that these funds will be used to increase undergraduate enrollment, and to support operational costs and student support services.
  • UC Extension Centers: The Budget provides $4 million in one-time General Funds to support degree and certificate completion programs at UC extension centers, with a focus on the development of online programs.

California State University

  • Base Resources: The Budget proposes an increase of $199 million in ongoing General Funds, to support the CSU’s operational costs, expand CSU enrollment, and further achieve the goals of the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025.
  • Expanded and Continuing Education: The Budget proposes an increase of $6 million in one-time General Funds to support the development and expansion of degree and certificate completion programs, with an emphasis on online programs.

California Community Colleges

  • The Student-Centered Funding Formula: Recognizing that the formula is in the second year of implementation, the Budget proposes no further refinements to the formula in fiscal year 2020-21. The Administration supports the Funding Formula Oversight Committee’s recent recommendation to include a metric reflecting first-generation college students within the formula.
  • Cost-of-Living-Adjustment: The Budget proposes an increase of $167.2 million in Proposition 98 General Funds for a 2.29% COLA.
  • Enrollment Growth: The Budget proposes an increase of $31.9 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds.
  • Faculty Support: The Budget proposes $15 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for a pilot fellowship program to improve faculty diversity at CCCs and an increase of $10 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for part-time faculty office hours.
  • Food Pantries: The Budget proposes an increase of $11.4 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to establish or support food pantries at CCC campuses.
  • Zero-Textbooks-Cost Degrees: The Budget proposes $10 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to develop and implement zero-textbook-cost degrees using open educational resources.
  • Dreamer Resource Liaisons: The Budget proposes an increase of $5.8 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to support Dreamer Resource Liaisons and student support services.
  • Instructional Materials for Dual Enrollment: The Budget provides an increase of $5 million Proposition 98 General Funds for community colleges to provide instructional materials for dual enrollment students.

California Student Aid Commission

  • Increased Cal Grant Access Award for Student Parents: The Budget provides an increase of $21.6 million in General Funds to reflect an increase in the number of estimated recipients in 2020-21.
  • Student Loan and Debt Service Outreach: The Budget provides $5 million in one-time General Funds to support the convening of a student loan working group and to provide student loan outreach. The workgroup will explore administrative strategies and concepts to better ensure students are able to access the most beneficial loan programs, repayment plans, and debt-service forgiveness programs.
  • Grant Delivery System: The Budget proposes an increase of $5.3 million in General Funds to fund the third year of project costs for the Grant Delivery System Modernization Project. This modernized system will allow CSAC to more efficiently process awards and support student financial aid.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.