Ed Trust-West Responds to Governor Newsom’s May Revisions to his State Budget Proposal
In response to the release of Governor Newsom’s May revisions to his 2019-2020 California state budget proposal, Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Executive Director of Ed Trust-West issued the following statement on behalf of The Education Trust-West:
California’s commitment to progressive values must be coupled with the resources needed to correct long-standing inequities facing our state’s students and families. We’re glad to see Governor Newsom’s revisions to his state budget proposal signal a commitment to the types of bold action that move California closer to educational equity and justice. We urge the governor and legislature to pass a budget incorporating the Governor’s equity-focused proposals, and to double down on providing additional adjustments in a few areas to maximize the potential this budget has for leveling the playing field for all Californians. The proposed state budget includes a number of strong levers for equity – and we look forward to closely monitoring the implementation of these investments to ensure they truly translate into meaningful change for our state’s students.
As we were in January, we are very glad that Governor Newsom’s first state budget proposal includes an investment in a state longitudinal data system (SLDS). As fierce advocates for the use of data to expose and eradicate education inequities, we strongly urge the Governor and Legislature to approve the an SLDS grounded in 5 equity principles, as laid out in our recently-released Data For The People policy brief:
- Engaging students and families in both development and implementation
- Counting all students and disaggregating data
- Protecting student privacy
- Providing accessible, public facing results and tools
- Focusing on systemic-, asset-, and equity-oriented change
Early Education and K-12
The Governor’s dedication to supporting California’s families is clear, and we are happy to see his May revision include an increase of funding to support access to child care for low-income families. We appreciate the governor proposing an investment in the teacher pipeline that provides some financial relief to teachers, an initiative that aligns with our sponsored legislation, AB 1623. We urge the legislature to ensure such an investment prioritizes equity by linking the funding to teachers serving in hard-to-fill positions that disproportionately affect underserved students of color. We also commend the Governor for taking a step to address fiscal adequacy while maintaining a commitment to supporting teachers by providing some degree of pension relief for school districts. As discussions around fiscal adequacy in California education continue, we encourage the Governor and other state policymakers to not only address pensions, which are one piece of the adequacy puzzle, but to take on adequacy as a whole and with equity at the forefront, including taking action to ensure our more-equity-focused funding streams are indeed being used on resources for the underserved students they were intended to support.
We applaud the Governor for his continued commitment to the Student Centered Funding Formula, an equitable change we view as critical for supporting closure of equity gaps across the community college system. We look forward to more clarity on the role of the Oversight Committee in reviewing future changes to the formula. Additionally, we are glad to see the Governor continues to support undocumented students attending college in California and we encourage the legislature to continue their track record of supporting these students and families in the final budget as well.
We also welcome the Governor’s proposed increase in the number of available competitive Cal Grants as a good first step, but insist that the Governor and Legislature work together with the California Student Aid Commission to advance a comprehensive set of solutions that truly makes college more affordable. The proposed funding to address food and housing insecurity facing students within the UC and CSU systems to include more resources for ongoing rapid rehousing within both systems is critical. As the state continues to tackle the threat of food and housing insecurities, we implore them to make much-needed adjustments to the Cal Grant system so that financial aid provided directly to students covers the full cost of attending college. It is also encouraging to see the Governor maintain a tuition freeze for our public universities, but we see a critical need to tie the state’s investment in the University of California to clear system-wide goals around enrollment. These enrollment goals should prioritize our most-marginalized student groups in order to address the longstanding inequities they have faced within that system head-on and with urgency.
2019-2020 May Revision At A Glance
- Full-Day Kindergarten: In the May Revision, the Governor has reduced the proposed funding toward expanding facilities and removing barriers to full-day kindergarten from $750 million to $600 million in light of stakeholder feedback that the previous amount was too high. The May Revision reduces the amount of local match from 50% to 25% by increasing the state share, and will continue to prioritize districts with high rates of low-income students.
- Masterplan for Early Learning and Care: The Governor proposes $10 million to fund the State Board of Education, in partnership with the Department of Finance and the Department of Social Services, to create a long-term strategic plan–the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care–for providing universal preschool, as well as improving access to and quality of subsidized child care. This proposal remains unchanged in the May Revision and will build on recent work by the Legislature and CDE, such as the final report by the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education.
- Subsidized Child Care: The May Revision adds $157.5 million to the $500 million proposed in the January budget toward supporting working families and increasing access to child care for almost 14,000 children.
- Library Programming: The May Revision includes $5 million in one-time General Funds to support local libraries to establish early learning and afterschool programming.
- LCFF Investment: The rate for the cost-of-living adjustment for the LCFF was decreased slightly in the May Revision relative to the January Budget. The increase for LCFF would decrease by about $63 million to about $1.94 billion.
- Pension Obligation Relief: The May Revision adds $150 million to the $3 billion in one-time funds proposed to be phased in over the next two years to mitigate the rising burden of pension costs for school districts. The CalSTRS employer contribution rate would be reduced to 16.7 percent in 2019-2020 for school employers and community college districts.
- Community Engagement and Transparency: In his January Budget, the Governor proposed investing $350,000 to integrate the Local Control and Accountability Plan electronic template, California School Dashboard, and other school and district reporting tools including the School Accountability Report Card into one web-based application. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- System of Support: In his January Budget, the Governor proposed an increase of $20.2 million for county offices of education following the formula adopted in the 2018 Budget Act to support school district improvement. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Longitudinal Data System: In his January Budget, the Governor proposed $10 million to plan for and develop a longitudinal data system that will connect student information from early education providers, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, employers, other workforce entities, and health and human services agencies into one comprehensive, longitudinal data system. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Special Education: The May Revision adds $119.2 million to the $576 million included in the January budget to increase services for students with disabilities. The total increase of $696.2 million would be a 21 percent increase from the current year.
- Teacher Loan Assumption: The May Revision provides an addition of $89.8 million in one-time, non-Proposition 98 General Funds to repay about 4,500 loans for teachers of up to $20,000. Recipients must teach in high-need schools for at least 4 years. Funds will be prioritized for teachers in hard-to-hire subjects and school sites with the highest rates of non-credentialed or waiver teachers.
- Computer Science: In order to improve access to Computer Science, the May Revision provides $1 million over 4 years to the State Board of Education to establish a California Computer Science Coordinator. The May Revision also provides $15 million in one-time, non-Proposition 98 funds for broadband infrastructure to meet the needs of digital learning.
- Charter Schools: The May Revision proposes several policy changes related to charter schools. These would: (1) prohibit charter schools from discouraging students to enroll in a charter on the basis of academic performance; (2) prohibit charter schools from requesting a pupil’s academic records prior to enrollment; (3) create a process for charter school students and families to report concerns to the charter’s authorizer; and (4) require the Department of Education to examine the feasibility of using data from CalPADS to identify charter school enrollment disparities that may warrant intervention by authorizers.
- Professional Development: The May Revision provides $44.8 million in one-time non-Proposition 98 General Funds to provide training and resources for classroom educators, including teachers and paraprofessionals, to build capacity around inclusive practices, social emotional learning, computer science, and restorative practices as well as subject matter competency, including STEM.
- Overall Higher Education funding: The May Revision includes total funding of $36.6 billion, with a growth of $1.63 billion compared to the revised 2018-19 expenditures.
- Tuition: Given these investments in the Budget, it is expected that tuition at the UC, CSU, and CCC systems will not increase.
- California College Promise program: The May Revision proposes an increase of $5.2 million in Proposition 98 General Funds, for a total of $45.2 million, to support the existing first year and proposed second year of the California College Promise program (AB 19). This adjustment reflects a revised estimate of eligible students for the program.
- The Student Centered Funding Formula: The May Revision continues to reflect Governor Newsom’s commitment to the Student Centered Funding Formula with one additional revision. The May Revision extends the existing hold harmless provision by an additional year, ensuring that no district will receive less funding than they received in 2017-18 with a cost-of-living adjustment.
- Enrollment Growth:
- UC: The Governor proposes $10 million in ongoing General Funds to support the enrollment of 1,000 additional California residents. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- CSU: The Governor proposes $62 million in ongoing funds to expand enrollment by 2%, which is an increase of more than 7,000 students. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- CCC: The Governor proposes an increase of $26 million from Proposition 98 for enrollment growth. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Legal Services for Undocumented Individuals
- UC: Funding for the UC’s Legal Immigration Services program runs through the 2021-22 fiscal year due to the 2018 Budget Act. The May Revision proposes an increase in total funding of $1.7 million ongoing to support this program beginning in 2022-23.
- CSU: The Governor proposes $7 million ongoing from the General Fund to provide legal services to undocumented students, staff, and faculty at the CSU. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- CCC: The Governor proposes $10 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to provide legal services to undocumented and immigrant students, faculty, and staff on CCC campuses. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Cal Grant Awards for Private Non-Profit: The May Revision proposes to shift the required annual Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) admissions goal out one year to provide private nonprofit institutions with additional time to increase their offerings of ADT pathways. The Budget assumes that independent institutions, as a whole, will meet their ADT acceptance requirements in order to maintain the maximum Cal Grant tuition award at $9,084 for low-income students.
- Student Loan Awareness Initiative: The Governor proposes $5 million in one-time funds from the General Fund to develop an outreach initiative to educate student loan borrowers about their loans, lending practices, and repayment options. The May Revision made a minor revision by transferring administration of this initiative from the Office of Planning and Research to the California Student Aid Commission.
- Higher Education Innovation in San Joaquin and Inland Empire regions: The Governor proposes $10 million in one-time General Funds to support innovative strategies, promote partnerships, and collaborative efforts to increase postsecondary capacity, reduce achievement gaps, and create a multi-generational culture of educational attainment. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- University of California
- Expanding UC Extension Centers: The Governor proposes $15 million in one-time General Funds to support degree completion and certificate program for individuals with some college but no degree. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Degree Attainment, Student Success, and Equity: The Governor proposes $49.9 million in ongoing General Funds to support student success, improve students’ timely completion, and close degree attainment gaps for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Mental Health Services: The Governor proposes $5.3 million in ongoing General Funds to support mental health services. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Food and Housing Insecurity: The Governor proposes an investment of $15 million in ongoing General Funds to address student hunger and housing needs. Building upon that investment, the May Revision proposes an increase of $3.5 million in ongoing General Funds to support rapid rehousing of homeless and housing insecure students.
- California State University
- Graduation Initiative 2025: The Governor proposes $45 million ongoing from the General Fund to support continued progress towards the goals of improving students’ timely degree completion and reducing students’ total cost. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Deferred Maintenance and On-Campus Child Care Centers: The Governor proposes $247 million one-time General Funds to address the deferred maintenance backlog and improve or expand on-campus child care centers. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- CSU Basic Needs Initiative: The Governor proposes an investment of $15 million in one-time General Funds for the CSU to assist each campus’ existing efforts addressing student hunger and housing needs. Building upon that investment, the May Revision proposes an increase of $6.5 million in ongoing General Funds to support rapid rehousing of homeless and housing insecure students.
- CSU Expansion Planning: The Governor proposes $2 million in one-time General Funds for the Chancellor’s Office to explore a potential CSU campus in San Joaquin County. This proposal is unchanged in the May Revision.
- Project Rebound: The Governor proposes an investment of $250,000 in ongoing General Funds to support Project Rebound. Building upon that investment, the May Revision proposes an increase of $750,000 in ongoing General Funds, for a total of $1,000,000 per year. This program provides assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals seeking to enroll in participating CSU campuses.
- California Community Colleges
- Pension Obligation Relief: The May Revision adds $150 million to the $3 billion in one-time funds proposed to be phased in over the next two years to mitigate the rising burden of pension costs for local education agencies (LEAs) and community colleges. The CalSTRS employer contribution rate would be reduced to 16.7 percent in 2019-2020 for LEAs and community college districts.
- Cost Of Living Adjustment: The Governor proposes an increase of $248.3 million in Proposition 98 General Funds for a 3.46 cost-of-living adjustment. The May Revision decreased the Proposition 98 General Funds by $18.3 million to reflect a change in the cost-of-living adjustment from 3.46 percent to 3.26 percent.
- Student Success Completion Grant: The May Revision proposes an increase of $7.5 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to reflect revised estimates of participation in the financial aid program.
- California Student Aid Commission
- Increased Access Award for Student Parents: The Governor proposes $121.6 million to increase or provide access awards for students with dependent children attending the UC, CSU, or the CCCs. The May Revision decreased this amount by $24.9 million to reflect revised estimates for the number of students who would qualify.
- Increase Amount of Competitive Cal Grant Awards: The Governor proposes $9.6 million to increase the number of Competitive Cal Grant Awards by 4,250. The May Revision increased this proposal by $2 million to reflect revised estimates of the cost to increase the number of available competitive awards.