Press Release

In Response to Governor Newsom’s Budget Proposal for 2021-2022, Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, Issued the Following Statement:

Governor Newsom’s proposal is a good first step in this year’s crucial budget process. California avoided a projected revenue shortfall this year largely because our state’s most fortunate residents prospered even as so many communities were ravaged by the pandemic and recession. That dichotomy only underscores the importance that this year’s budget is an Equity First budget, directing resources to those who have been hit hardest.

The Education Trust–West has advocated for a statewide data system for over a decade. We commend Governor Newsom for his steadfast and forward-looking commitment to creating a statewide cradle-to-career education and workforce data system. The $15 million investment signals his commitment to providing data for the people. The pandemic reinforced that it’s painfully difficult for families, educators, advocates, and even state leaders to access clear, easy-to-use information about how well education systems are serving students so that resources can be targeted to the places of greatest need.

For nearly a decade, The Education Trust–West has advocated for statewide action to ensure that every high school senior submits a financial aid application. We are encouraged that the Governor’s budget responds to the detrimental impact of the pandemic on financial aid completion and requires districts to confirm that all high school seniors complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). We hope and expect that this requirement will be strengthened with funding to ensure its success.

We also commend the Governor’s commitment to recommendations made in the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care, including investments to expand transitional kindergarten (TK) for all four-year-olds, improve facilities, and provide preparation and professional development for educators. The Governor’s budget also includes important funding to meet the needs of childcare providers and families as a result of the pandemic and create thousands of new child care slots. Although expanding TK is badly needed, we urge the Governor and the legislature to also invest more in our infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Moving forward, we also hope the Governor will include state-funded preschools in the “Safe Schools for All” plan, which currently begins with TK. 

On K-12 education, we applaud the Governor’s plan to invest in school reopening and addressing learning loss, especially in light of our recent poll showing that only 35% of California parents rated their child’s experience with distance learning as successful. We are pleased to see significant investments in the teacher workforce, including for professional development geared toward education recovery and expanding the teacher pipeline specifically for hard-to-staff subjects and schools.  We will closely watch to see whether investments focused on education recovery continue to be targeted at the most vulnerable students and whether state leaders encourage schools and districts to engage parents and students on how they are meeting students’ needs during and after the pandemic.

On higher education, our May 2020 poll showed that over half of students were uneasy about their personal finances and that transition to remote learning was extremely disruptive, especially for students from lower-income households and students of color. The Governor’s proposed investments to close the digital divide and improve distance learning are urgently needed. We are pleased to see funding for emergency student financial aid and to address basic needs such as housing and food insecurity, especially for the hardest hit students across each segment. Finally, the proposals to bolster efforts to engage current, former and prospective community college students are smart and timely given the impacts of the pandemic on enrollment across the state. We will look forward to more details about how the proposed competitive Cal Grant investments interplay with the ongoing Cal Grant modernization efforts and about the anti-racism initiatives in the proposal.    

This year’s state budget is one of the most important in recent memory, and there can be no pandemic recovery without education recovery. The choices we make now will determine whether the crises of the past year hold back an entire generation of Californians or whether they kickstart solutions to longstanding challenges.

These are challenging times, especially in light of this week’s rampage at the United States Capitol. It was a blatant attack on our democracy fueled by white supremacy, racism and misinformation. Our students, from preschool to college – who have already lost unprecedented and invaluable months of learning and connection with peers and educators – just bore witness to one of the most disgraceful acts of domestic terrorism in our nation’s history.  Our students deserve better. 

Our nation is in the midst of two very deadly crises – the pandemic and racism. The students and families that have taken the brunt of the pain are the same ones who we already failed to provide a truly equal chance to learn and thrive. If we act boldly and urgently, we can turn this crisis to opportunity. If we don’t, the gaps between California’s haves and have nots will only grow wider and faster.

As we embark on this budget process, we look forward to continuing to work with the Governor, Legislature, and community and advocacy partners to refine and finalize a budget that prioritizes the students, families, and communities who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and recession and invests in a brighter, more just future for California.

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.

Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2021-2022 State Budget At-A-Glance

Early Childhood Education

Transitional Kindergarten (TK): The Governor proposes $250 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds, available over multiple years, to provide grants to local educational agencies that offer early access to TK. This will help educational agencies to cover up-front costs associated with expanding their TK programs. Additionally, the Governor proposes $50 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to support the preparation of TK teachers and provide TK and kindergarten teachers with trainings on instruction in inclusive classrooms, support for English language learners, social-emotional learning, trauma-informed practices, restorative practices, and mitigating implicit biases.

Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Facilities: The Governor proposes $200 million in one-time General Funds for school districts to construct and retrofit existing facilities to support TK and full-day kindergarten programs.

Child Care: The Governor proposes creating 4,700 new child care slots using Proposition 64 cannabis tax revenues.

Early Interventions: The Governor proposes $300 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds toward the Special Education Early Intervention Grant to increase evidence-based services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

COVID-19 Related Support: To support the needs of child care providers and families as a result of the pandemic, the Governor proposes $55 million in one-time General Funds.

Kindergarten Through Grade 12

Proposition 98 Funding: The Governor proposes a total of $85.8 billion in funding for Proposition 98, which supports K-12 education and community colleges. This is $14.9 billion more than 2020-21.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF): The Governor proposes a $2 billion increase for the LCFF, when adjusted for declining enrollment, which reflects a 3.84 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and brings total LCFF funding to $64.5 billion. The COLA includes the amount (2.31 percent) the state was unable to provide in the 2020-2021 budget.

Free Application for Financial Student Assistance (FAFSA): The Governor proposes to require local educational agencies to confirm that high school seniors complete the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application. These are the applications required to access federal and state financial aid.

Cradle-to-Career Data System: To support the continued development of the Cradle-to-Career Data System, the Governor proposes $15 million from the General Fund, of which $3 million is one-time, to establish an office within the Government Operations Agency to provide support and resources for:

  • The acquisition, development, and maintenance of the system’s analytical tools, including data storage and querying functions;
  • The administration and maintenance of the data system;
  • Updating the K-12 California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CalPADS) data system software;
  • Expanding eTranscript functionality to additional colleges and universities;
  • The hiring of management level data system coordinators at the University of California, California State University, California Student Aid Commission, and California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office; and
  • Governance and operational costs.

The Governor also proposes $3.8 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to support the California Career Guidance Initiative (CCGI). The CCGI provides K-12 students, families, and high schools with information and data tools to improve college and career planning, and will be integrated into the Cradle-to-Career Data System.

In-person Instruction Grants: In his Safe Schools for All Plan, the Governor proposes $2 billion to be allocated to local educational agencies (LEA) to pay for the additional costs of in-person instruction due to the pandemic. Grants would be voluntary. Funds would be allocated on a per pupil basis with a base grant of $450, increasing to more than $700 per student based on the enrollment of English learners, foster youth, and low-income students. Funds could be used for any purpose supporting in-person instruction including COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment, ventilation and safety of learning spaces, teacher and classified staff salaries for those providing or supporting in-person instruction, and social and mental health support services provided in conjunction with in-person instruction. Collective bargaining agreements in support of the LEAs plan to resume in-person instruction would be required. LEAs could continue to bring students back for in-person instruction in all grades in the state’s Yellow, Orange, and Red Tiers. In Purple Tier counties, no initial reopenings of middle or high schools would be allowed, but elementary schools could be reopened if the seven-day average case rate in county is below 28 cases/100,000 people per day and the LEA submits a COVID-19 Safety Plan to the local health department that is not returned with a finding that it is unsafe.

Expanded Learning Time and Academic Interventions: The Governor proposes $4.6 billion in one-time Proposition 98 Funds to address learning loss. Funds would be used by LEAs to target interventions for low-income students, English learners, foster youth, and homeless students. Interventions could include an extended school day or summer school.

Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds: California could receive more than $6 billion from the most recent COVID-19 federal relief bill. About 90 percent of these funds will go directly to Title I schools. Governor Newsom will allocate approximately $400 million. Funds will be used for the costs of reopening and staying open for in-person instruction and supporting the needs of students.

Public School System Stabilization Account: The Public School System Stabilization Account (also called the Proposition 98 Rainy Day Fund) was established in 2014 as part of Proposition 2. The Account was created to reduce the impact of sharp declines in state revenues by setting aside funding that can be used to mitigate budget cuts when revenues decrease. The Governor proposes to deposit approximately $2.9 billion into the fund based on formulas in state law that require a deposit based on funding levels, growth, inflation, and capital gains over multiple years. The balance of $3 billion in this Account for 2021-22 will trigger a 10 percent cap to school district reserves beginning in 2022-23.

Deferrals: In-lieu of budget cuts, the state sometimes delays or postpones payments to LEAs and repays them when revenues improve. Reductions were anticipated when the 2020 Budget Act was adopted. This created the need to defer LCFF payments in the amount of $1.9 billion in the 2019 budget growing to more than $11 billion in the 2020-2021 budget. The Governor proposes to pay off the full K-12 deferral in 2019-2020, and $7.3 billion in 2020-2021, leaving a balance of $3.7 billion in 2021-2022.

Supplemental Payment: The 2020 Budget Act included a multi-year plan to supplement Proposition 98 and mitigate projected budget cuts. The state’s economy over the past year was stronger than expected, and the anticipated decreases in revenues were avoided. As a result, the Budget proposes to remove the supplemental payment from statute. However, to meet the needs of students and the K-14 education system related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Governor proposes a one-time supplementary payment to K-14 schools of $2.3 billion in 2021-22.

Pension Contributions: The Governor proposes to require the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to apply $820 million to reduce the employer rate from 18.1 percent to approximately 15.92 percent, and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to apply $330 million to reduce the Schools Pool employer contribution rate from 24.9 percent to 23 percent for 2021-2022.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA): Due to extraordinary circumstances related to attendance during the pandemic, the 2020-2021 budget maintained funding for LEAs by holding ADA “harmless” (no loss of revenue due to a decrease in ADA). The Governor does not propose a new ADA hold harmless requirement in 2021-22. A hold harmless provision already in the LCFF statute will allow local educational agencies to receive the higher of their 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 ADA.

Fiscal Accountability: The Local Control Funding Formula provides supplemental and concentration grants to LEAs to increase or improve services for English Learners, foster youth, and low-income students. Existing law does not address the use of unspent supplemental and concentration funds. The Governor proposes statutory changes to address concerns that some LEAs leave supplemental and concentration funds unspent and use them for other purposes in subsequent years. The Governor’s proposed statutory change requires an LEA to increase and improve services to continue until fulfilled, and increases the specificity required of county offices of education in reviewing each LEA’s Local Control and Accountability Plan.

Teacher Professional Development: The Governor proposes a $320.3 million package for educator professional development as follows:

  • $250 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for the Educator Effectiveness Block Grant to expedite professional development for teachers, administrators, and other in-person staff to meet immediate needs like accelerated learning, re-engaging students, restorative practices, and implicit bias training.
  • $50 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for statewide resources and targeted professional development on social-emotional learning and trauma-informed practices.
  • $8.3 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for the California Early Math Initiative, which provides professional development in math instruction for pre-K through third-grade students through the statewide system of support.
  • $7 million in one-time non-Proposition 98 General Funds to the University of California Subject Matter Projects for teacher professional development related to instructional loss.
  • $5 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to fund professional development and instructional materials for schools and districts who are offering, or would like to offer, ethnic studies.

Teacher Recruitment: The Governor proposes $225 million for teacher recruitment, specifically:

  • $100 million in one-time non-Proposition 98 General Funds for investment in the Golden State Teacher Grant Program, which provides grants to students enrolled in teacher preparation programs who commit to working in high-need fields and at schools with high rates of under-prepared teachers.
  • $100 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to expand the Teacher Residency Program, which supports teacher preparation programs dedicated to preparing and retaining teachers in high-need communities and subject areas.
  • $25 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to expand the Classified School Employees Credentialing Program, which provides grants to local educational agencies to recruit non-certificated school employees to become certificated classroom teachers.

Special Education: The Governor proposes:

  • $300 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds for the Special Education Early Intervention Grant to scale up services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  • $5 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to establish professional learning networks to increase LEA capacity to access federal Medi-Cal funds, and $250,000 for a lead county office of education to provide guidance for Medi-Cal billing within the statewide system of support.
  • $500,000 in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for a study to examine certification and oversight of non-public school special education placements.

Community Schools: The Governor proposes $264.9 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to enable LEAs to expand and create community schools, and to coordinate a wide range of services to these schools, with priority given to schools in high-poverty communities.

School Climate Surveys: The Governor proposes $10 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for a county office of education to provide LEAs information, training, and grants to increase the use of school climate surveys.

Student Mental Health: The Governor proposes $450 million, with $25 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds, to improve student mental health services. The largest portion, $400 million, will be used by the Department of Health Care Services to increase preventive services and interventions in schools. The remaining funds will be used for grants to high-poverty and rural schools, and used by LEAs as matching funds for county Mental Health Services Act programs.

Higher Education

Overall Higher Education funding: $36.1 billion, with a growth of $951 million compared to the revised 2020-21 expenditures. This does not include the estimated $2.9 billion included in the recently federal COVID-19 relief bill.

Linking Higher Education and Employment Opportunities: The Governor set aside $250 million one-time General Funds within the Budget to support proposals, which are focused on workforce development, segment alignment, and improving linkages between higher education institutions and employers.The Department of Finance is developing these proposals for a future date.

 

Early Action Proposals – Addressing Immediate Needs to Support and Engage Students

Early Action Emergency Student Financial Assistance: The Governor proposes $100 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to support emergency student financial assistance grants for full-time, low-income community college students and other student who were previously working full-time, or an equivalent, and can demonstrate an emergency financial need.

CCC Student Retention Rates and Enrollment: The Governor proposes $20 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to increase Community College student retention rates and enrollment. Funds can be used to engage students who may have withdrawn from college due to COVID-19, and to engage current or prospective students who may be hesitant to remain enrolled or enroll in the future due to the pandemic.

Cal Grant Awards for Private Non-Profit: The Governor proposes to delay from 2021-2022 until 2022-2023, a requirement upon private nonprofit institutions to admit at least 2,000 Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) students. The postponement will allow these institutions to maintain their Cal Grants awards at $9,084 in 2021-22.

Restoring Cal Grant A Eligibility During the Pandemic: The Governor proposes $58.2 million in ongoing General Funds to restore Cal Grant A eligibility for students who became ineligible as a result of a change in their living status due to the pandemic.

 

University of California (UC)

Base Resources: The Governor proposes a total increase of $103.9 million in ongoing General Funds with the expectation that the UC maintains tuition and fees flat in 2021-22, reduce equity gaps, commit to aligning student learning objectives with workforce needs, adopt policies for online courses and program offerings, and create new dual admission pathways.

Student Basic Needs, Digital Equity & Mental Health: The Governor proposes an increase of $15 million in ongoing General Funds to provide students access to devices and high-speed Internet connectivity, as well as increase student mental health resources.

Deferred Maintenance: The Governor proposes an increase of $175 million in one-time General Funds to address deferred maintenance and energy efficiency at UC campuses.

Emergency Student Financial Assistance: The Governor proposes an increase of $15 million in one-time General Funds to support emergency financial assistance grants to full-time, low-income students and other students who were previously working full-time, or an equivalent.

California Institute for Science and Innovation: The Governor proposes an increase of $20 million in one-time General Funds for four science and innovation institutes to support student stipends over a five-year period to connect student workers with industry employers, and research teams to create industry partnerships that better align educational programs with workforce needs.

UC Subject Matter Projects: The Governor proposes an increase of $7 million in one-time General Funds to provide resources to the UC Subject Matter Projects for K-12 teacher professional development regarding learning loss mitigation and ethnic studies.

Culturally Competent Professional Development: The Governor proposes an increase of $5 million in one-time General Funds to provide culturally competent professional development for UC faculty by leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes.

 

California State University (CSU)

Base Resources: The Governor proposes an increase of $111.5 million in ongoing General Funds with the expectation that the CSU maintain tuition and fees flat in 2021-22, reduce equity gaps, commit to aligning student learning objectives with workforce needs, adopt policies for online courses and program offerings, and create new dual admission pathways.

Deferred Maintenance: The Governor proposes an increase of $175 million in one-time General Funds to address deferred maintenance at CSU campuses.

Emergency Student Financial Assistance: The Governor proposes an increase of $30 million in one-time General Funds to support emergency financial assistance grants to full-time, low-income students and other students who were previously working full-time, or an equivalent.

Addressing the Digital Divide & Mental Health: The Governor proposes an increase of $15 million in ongoing General Funds to provide students access to devices and high-speed Internet connectivity, as well as increase student mental health resources.

Basic Needs Initiative Component of CSU Grad. Initiative 2025: The Governor proposes $15 million in ongoing General Funds to support students experiencing food and housing insecurity, financial distress, and other challenges that could disrupt their academic success and completion. This will sustain and expand support for the Basic Needs Initiative component of Graduation Initiative 2025.

CSU Stanislaus, Stockton Campus: The Governor proposes an increase of $1 million in ongoing General Funds to increase full-time equivalent students at this campus by 115 students.

Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC): The Governor proposes an increase of $246,000 in ongoing General Funds to pay for cost increases associated with continued broadband access provided by CENIC.

Culturally Competent Professional Development: The Governor proposes $10 million in one-time General Funds to provide culturally competent professional development for CSU faculty by leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes.

 

California Community Colleges (CCC)

Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA): The Governor proposes $111.1 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to provide a 1.5% COLA.

Enrollment Growth: The Governor proposes $23.1 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds for 0.5% enrollment growth.

Deferrals: The Governor proposes $1.1 billion in Proposition 98 General Funds to reduce apportionment deferrals for the Student-Centered Funding Formula (SCFF), leaving a balance of $326.5 million for 2021-22. This is attributed to expected increases in the Proposition 98 Guarantee relative to the 2020 Budget.

Emergency Financial Assistance: The Governor proposes $150 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for emergency financial assistance for full-time, low income community college students and other students who were previously working full-time, or the equivalent, and demonstrate emergency financial need, and at least a 2.0 GPA in one of their last three semesters or four quarters. This is separate from the early action proposal for a similar purpose in the amount of $100 million.

Basic Needs: The Governor proposes $100 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to address food and housing insecurity.

Addressing the Digital Divide & Mental Health: The Governor proposes $30 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to support student technological access to higher education by prioritizing electronic devices and high-speed internet connectivity. This also includes increased mental health resources.

Culturally Competent Professional Development: The Governor proposes $20 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for a systemwide effort to bring culturally competent online professional development to CCC faculty by leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes.

Online Platforms for Services: The Governor proposes $10.6 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to support the continuity of education and quality distance learning through access to online tutoring, online counseling, and online student support services like mental health services.

Zero-Textbooks-Cost Degrees: The Governor proposes $15 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to develop and implement zero-textbook-cost degrees using open educational resources.

Instructional Materials for Dual Enrollment: The Governor proposes $2.5 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for community colleges to provide instructional materials for dual enrollment students.

AB 1460 Implementation and Anti-Racism Initiatives: The Governor proposes $600,000 in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to support the implementation of the provisions in Chapter 32, Statutes of 2020 (AB 1460) as well as other systemwide anti-racism initiatives.

CENIC Broadband: The Governor proposes an increase of $8 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds for cost increases associated with continued broadband access provided by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC).

 

California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)

Golden State Teacher Grant Program: The Governor proposes an increase of $100 million in one-time General Funds to provide grants to students enrolled in teacher preparation program who commit to teaching in a high-need field at school sites with the highest rates of non-credentialed or waiver teachers.

Summer Financial Aid Program: The Governor proposes to shift the suspension date for the UC and CSU Summer Financial Aid program from December 31, 2021 to December 31, 2022. This suspension can be lifted if it is determined through the 2022 Budget Act that there is sufficient revenue to support all suspended programs in the subsequent two fiscal years.

Increased Competitive Cal Grants: The Governor proposes an increase of approximately $35 million in ongoing General Funds to add 9,000 Competitive Cal Grant awards, increasing the total number of awards to 50,000.

Former & Current Foster Youth Access Award: The Governor proposes an increase of approximately $20 million in ongoing General Funds to increase access awards for all former or current foster youth. Under this proposal, eligible new or renewal Cal Grant A and B awards will increase to $6,000 and Cal Grant C awards will increase to $4,000.