Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 26, 2021

Contact:
Stephanie Ong, [email protected], 415.786.5568

Mariel Matze, [email protected]

In Response to California’s Final 2021-2022 Budget, Dr. Christopher J. Nellum, Executive Director, Issued the Following Statement:

Californians have reason to celebrate a budget that leverages a historic surplus toward significant investments in public education, from early learning and care to K-12 to higher education. But most remarkable isn’t this budget’s sheer size; it is its potential to finally address long-standing systemic equity issues that have long shut out too many students of color and students from low-income communities from opportunity. The Education Trust–West applauds a commitment to ensuring students with the highest needs are embedded in many of the budget’s boldest policies, including two particularly historic wins.

One of the most significant is a policy that ensures every high school senior completes a financial aid application, enacted after years of advocacy from students, families, and educators. If implemented properly, no California student entitled to financial aid will set their college dreams aside under the assumption they would have to pay for it on their own; an experience that today is far too common.

Another win is the further development of California’s Cradle-to-Career data system, which will revolutionize our understanding of programs across the educational spectrum—including each of those included in this year’s ambitious budget. We are thrilled to see the data system receive funding for Phase I of its development, which will help illuminate students’ educational journeys in ways currently inaccessible to researchers, policymakers, and community members.

Additional equitable investments in early childhood education will offer our state’s youngest learners a strong start and give relief to parents under pressure, especially those with the least access to child care. From universal transitional kindergarten to additional subsidized child care slots, greater access to child care options will make a world of difference to today’s youngest learners—and have a lasting positive impact on our state. Early learning and care providers can finally look forward to reimbursement rates from the state that recognize the true cost of providing child care—no matter where in California they live. It’s a step that will go a long way toward helping the hard-hit early learning and care industry bounce back while advancing pay equity for its workforce of primarily women of color.

K-12 school districts can look forward to powerful tools that will enable education leaders to rebuild and reimagine how schools can meet the needs of students and parents. Those tools include funding for expanded learning, community schools, teacher workforce development, and for the highest-need schools, an increase in the Local Control Funding Formula concentration grant with which to increase staffing.

Increased funding for all higher education segments, from assistance for basic needs to housing, will be crucial to ensuring students reach their educational goals. While we appreciate the removal of inequitable restrictions to Cal Grant eligibility based on age and years out of high school, we believe that more improvements are needed to make college affordable for all, including a modernized Cal Grant program and investments in our financial aid system.

The potential of bold measures like these to improve the lives of students and families will require faithful implementation from regional and local leaders. The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare a long-standing reality: that California is a land of abundance and possibilities—but only for some. But if resources continue to be allocated where they are needed most and policies are executed with the spirit of equity with which they were enacted, California will not only succeed in rebuilding from a devastating pandemic, but reimagine schools for the better.

As of the release of this statement, AB 132, the Higher Education Trailer Bill, has not been signed. If any major provisions are changed after the release of this statement, our analysis of the issue will be reflected in The Education Trust–West’s State Budget At-A-Glance, which will be posted below. For official comment on any changes, please reach out to the press contacts above.

About The Education Trust–West 

The Education Trust–West works for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-K through college, in the state of California. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. 

 

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Budget At-A-Glance

Early Childhood Education

Universal Transitional Kindergarten: The Budget includes a series of investments beginning in 2022-23 ($600 million General Fund) that would incrementally lead to universal transitional kindergarten (TK) by 2025-26 ($2.7 billion).

  • Planning and implementation grants: The Budget include $200 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for planning and implementation grants for all local educational agencies (LEAs).
  • Training for early childhood educators: The Budget provides $100 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for LEAs to recruit and train early childhood educators
  • Ratio: The Budget proposes new ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds beginning in 2022-23 to provide one additional certificated or classified staff person for each TK classroom. This will reduce adult-to-child ratios from 1:24 to 1:12. Beginning in 2023-24, if there is additional funding, the ratios could be further reduced to 1:10.
  • Parental choice: The Budget clarifies that children eligible for TK can also remain eligible for State Preschool, Head Start, or any other state or federal child care program.

State Preschool: The Budget encourages schools to provide wraparound care for TK-eligible students using State Preschool providers to ensure a full day of developmentally appropriate care and education.

  • Full-day access and reimbursement rates: The Budget provides $130 million in Proposition 98 General Funds for additional student access and increases reimbursement rates to reflect regional differences in the cost of care more closely.

Child Care and Development Programs: The child care and nutrition program transitioned from the Department of Education (CDE) to the Department of Social Services (DSS) on July 1, 2021, which aligned all child care programs within a single department. The state has also entered into the first collective bargaining agreement with Child Care Providers United, which provides significant rate increases to many providers.

  • Child care slots: The Budget adds over 145,000 child care slots over the next two years. If the state’s economic condition supports it, that number will grow to 200,000 by 2025-26. The Budget also includes $291.5 million in General Funds to expand access to Alternative Payment Programs General Child Care and Migrant Child Care slots for children between birth through 3. The Budget also includes $495.9 million in federal funds in 2024-25 for Alternative Payment Programs and General Child Care slots to expand child care access.
  • Reimbursement rates: Effective January 1, 2022, the Budget raises the Regional Market Rate (RMR) from the 75th percentile of the 2016 RMR survey to the 75th percentile of the 2018 RMR survey. It also increases reimbursement rates for child care providers who contract with the State by moving them from the Standard Reimbursement Rate (SMR) to the RMR ceiling. Effective from January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023, the Budget also brings all subsidized license-exempt providers to 70% of the licensed family child care home rate ceiling.
  • Infrastructure and facilities: Focusing on child care desert areas, the Budget includes $250 million to be spent through September 30, 2024 ($150 million General Fund and $100 million federal funds) to provide infrastructure grants to acquire, construct, develop, and renovate child care facilities.
  • Pandemic relief package: The Budget includes a relief package of $579 million in federal funds that includes stipends, family fee waivers, early childhood mental health consultation, and hold harmless provisions.
  • Child care transfer: The Budget shifts $31.7 million ($0.9 million General Fund) and 185.7 positions from CDE to CDSS to administer child care and nutrition programs. Additionally, $10.3 million ($9.8 million General Fund) and 74 positions will provide infrastructure to support the system, program enhancements, and support a whole-child/whole-family approach to child care integration and data development.

Data System

  • Child care data: The Budget includes $4.8 million in General Funds to support planning and initial implementation for designing a child care data system that will meet the needs of families and the early childhood education workforce.

Kindergarten Through Grade 12

Proposition 98 Funding: Proposition 98 dictates the amount of money the state must set aside for K-12 schools and California community colleges, based on general fund revenue (primarily from state taxes). The final budget projects $93.7 billion in Proposition 98 funding, almost $8 billion more than the January Budget, and a $300 million increase from the 2020-21 budget.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF): The Budget includes a few increases to LCFF next year, including:

  • An increase in the COLA adjustment to 4.05 percent
  • An additional 1 percent of base funding, equaling $520 million
  • An increase of $1.1 billion to the LCFF concentration grant or the LCFF grant that goes to LEAs with the highest concentrations of high-need students to increase staffing to meet students’ needs.

The Budget provides a total of $67.5 billion in LCFF funding.

Financial Aid Application Completion: The Budget requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to confirm that high school seniors complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) – applications required to access federal and state financial aid.

Cradle-to-Career Data System: The Budget provides $15 million to finance the continued development of the Cradle-to-Career Data System. Funding will provide support and resources for:

  • Acquiring, developing, and maintaining the system’s analytical tools, including data storage and querying functions
  • Administrating and maintaining 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
  • Hiring management-level data system coordinators at the University of California, California State University, California Student Aid Commission, and California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
  • Supporting governance and operational costs

The Budget also provides $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.

Teacher Preparation, Retention, and Training: The Budget provides a total of $2.9 billion to prepare, retain, and train educators, down from the $3.3 billion proposed in the May Revision.

  • Workforce Preparation
    • $350 million over five years for teacher residencies and grow-your-own credentialing programs
    • $500 million for Golden State Teacher Grants that would cover the teacher preparation expenses of 25,000 candidates who commit to working for four years in priority schools and subjects
    • $125 million over five years for the Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program, aimed at elevating over 5,000 classified school staff to credentialed teacher positions
    • $20 million for credentialing fee waivers
    • $15 million for certifying teachers to teach computer science
    • $1.7 million for the Center on Teaching Careers, specifically for their work on educator recruitment
    • A statute authorizing alternatives to certification exams to establish basic skills including completed coursework and upgrades to existing examinations
  • Retention and Training
    • $1.5 billion for school workforce professional development through the Educator Effectiveness Block Grant, specifically for social-emotional learning, accelerated learning, re-engaging students, restorative practices, and implicit bias training
    • $250 million to attract high quality teachers to work in high-poverty schools as mentors and other instructional staff
    • $60 million for the Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program
    • $50 for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence to provide professional development for learning acceleration, particularly in mathematics, literacy, and language development
    • $25 million for the professional development of administrators and school leaders through the 21st Century School Leadership Academy
    • Funding for training and resources for early math, reading, science instruction, computer science, dyslexia, and LGBTQ+ cultural competency

Expanded Learning Time: The Budget provides $1.8 billion for before-school, after-school, and summer academic supports and enrichment for elementary-aged students. This would increase to $5 billion in 2025-26. The state will allocate this investment to LEAs based on the number of students living in poverty, learning English, and in the foster care system, with a higher rate allocated to LEAs with a high concentration of these targeted students. LEAs must limit these services to the students generating the funding.

Community Schools: The Budget provides $3 billion over several years to expand the use of the community school model. This model centers schools as a community hub for holistic supports for students and families and is driven by shared decision-making that includes all school stakeholders. The $3 billion includes over $140 million dedicated to regional technical assistance hubs across the state to support LEAs in establishing and maintaining community schools.

A-G Completion Grant: The Budget provides $547.5 million in one-time funding to support high school students’ completion of the A-G course sequence. A-G refers to the set of high school courses students must complete to be eligible to apply to the University of California or California State University systems. This investment is targeted at students learning English, living in poverty, and involved in the foster care system – those most significantly affected by the pandemic.

School Climate Surveys: The Budget provides $6 million for county offices of education to provide information, training, and grants to LEAs to increase the use of school climate surveys.

Student Mental Health: The Budget provides $30 million to develop resources for educators, students, and caregivers to address the mental wellness needs of students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Budget’s mental health investment also funds a pilot to determine better ways of providing student health supports at schools and to secure Medi Cal funding for this purpose.

Universal School Nutrition: The Budget provides an additional $54 million to make school meals available to all children at no cost. The Budget also provides $150 million for kitchen upgrades and staff training to prepare for the universal provision of meals, beginning in the 2022-23 school year. The total cost of the program, when fully implemented, will be $650 million, annually.

Addressing Lost Learning Opportunity: LEAs have already been allocated $4.6 billion to fund additional academic and social emotional supports that address student needs surfacing from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Budget provides an additional $753 million in federal stimulus to address lost instructional opportunities resulting from the pandemic.

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 state must add money to the Rainy Day Fund based on formulas in state law that require a deposit based on funding levels, growth, inflation, and capital gains over multiple years. Due to higher-than-expected general fund revenues, the Budget provides $4.5 billion to the fund triggering a limit to LEA local reserves.

Deferrals: In place 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, which grew to more than $11 billion in the 2020-2021 budget. The Budget repays all of these deferrals.

Special Education: The Budget provides the following investments in special education:

  • $450 million for learning recovery supports for students with disabilities
  • $396.9 million to increase the statewide base rate for special education funding
  • $277.7 million in federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds to increase general statewide special education resources
  • $260 million for early intervention services for preschool-aged children
  • $186.1 million for a 4.05-percent cost-of-living adjustment for state special education funding
  • $100 million to provide more opportunities for efficient and effective special education complaint resolutions
  • $15 million to improve the use of inclusive practices.
  • $10 million in federal IDEA funds for technical assistance in developing and implementing individualized education programs and for providing tools and resources to assess and address academic effects of the pandemic on students with disabilities
  • $7 million in federal IDEA funds for Family Empowerment Centers
  • $2.3 million in federal IDEA funds for 6 new positions for the Department of Education – their responsibilities will include addressing special education complaints, performing court-ordered special education monitoring of LEAs, and purchasing special education monitoring software

Independent Study to Replace Distance Learning: The Budget requires that all K-12 students return to in-person instruction. It also provides a modified independent study option for students with medical needs inhibiting them from classroom-based instruction, or families hesitant to return their children to school in-person. The budget modifies independent study to require:

  • Opportunities for synchronous instruction and live interaction
  • Access to devices and internet connectivity
  • Rigorous curriculum
  • Tiered re-engagement of students who are unable to participate meaningfully
  • Tracking of student academic progress

Higher Education

Overall Higher Education Funding: The Budget includes overall funding of $47.1 billion for all higher education entities.

Student Housing: The Budget provides $2 billion in one-time General Funds, over three years, to establish a low-cost student housing grant program for public postsecondary institutions. This grant will focus on expanding affordable housing and support campus expansions at UC and CSU.

Dual Admissions: Starting in the 2023-24 academic year and continuing through the 2025-26 academic year, the Budget includes language for UC and CSU to establish a new stand-alone dual admissions pathway. It will enable eligible first-time freshman applicants to be considered for guaranteed admission to any of the UC or CSU campuses upon completion of an Associate Degree for Transfer or another transfer pathway at a California Community College.

 

University of California

Base Resources: The Budget includes $173.2 million in ongoing General Funds, which account for a five-percent base increase at the UC system.

2020 Budget Act Reductions: The Budget includes $302.4 million in General Funds to offset the ongoing reductions applied to the UC system in the 2020 Budget Act.

Mental Health: The Budget includes $15 million in ongoing General Funds for student mental health resources.

UC PRIME: The Budget includes $12.9 million in ongoing General Funds for UC Programs in Medical Education (UC PRIME). These unique medical school programs supplement standard training with an additional curriculum tailored to meet the needs of various underserved populations.

Intersegmental Learning Management System: The Budget includes $1 million in ongoing General Funds to support the adoption of a common intersegmental learning management system.

UC Immigrant Legal Services: The Budget includes $300,000 in ongoing General Funds to supplement existing funding available for immigration legal services.

SAPEP:  The Budget includes $22.5 million in one-time General Funds to support Student Academic Preparation and Educational Partnership (SAPEP) programs.

Deferred Maintenance: The Budget includes $325 million in one-time General Funds to address deferred maintenance and energy efficiency projects at UC campuses.

Emergency Student Financial Assistance: The Budget proposes $15 million in one-time General Funds to support emergency financial assistance grants to qualifying students who are enrolled in 6-units, demonstrate financial need, and have a 2.0 GPA in one of their previous terms.

California Institute for Science and Innovation: The Budget proposes $20 million in one-time General Funds for four science and innovation institutes. This funding will support student stipends over a five-year period, connecting 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 Budget includes $7 million in one-time General Funds to provide resources to the UC Subject Matter Projects. Of this amount, $5 million will create high-quality professional development programs that mitigate student learning loss in core subject matter content areas such as math and language arts. A further $2 million will be used to support teacher training and resources on delivering ethnic studies content.

Culturally Competent Professional Development: The Budget includes $5 million in one-time General Funds to provide culturally competent professional development for UC faculty, including leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes.

 

California State University

Base Resources: The Budget includes $185.9 million in ongoing General Funds, which account for a five-percent base increase at the CSU system.

2020 Budget Act Reductions: The Budget includes $299 million in ongoing General Funds to offset the ongoing reduction applied to the CSU in the 2020 Budget Act.

Mental Health: The Budget includes $15 million in ongoing General Funds to increase student mental health resources.

Basic Needs Initiative Component of CSU Graduation Initiative 2025: The Budget includes $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. The goal is to sustain and expand support for the Basic Needs Initiative component of Graduation Initiative 2025.

Intersegmental Learning Management System: The Budget includes $2 million in ongoing General Funds to support the adoption of a common intersegmental learning management system.

CSU Stanislaus, Stockton Campus: The Budget includes $1 million in ongoing General Funds to increase full-time equivalent students at this campus.

Broadband: The Budget includes $246,000 in ongoing General Funds to support continued broadband access by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC).

Deferred Maintenance: The Budget includes $325 million in one-time General Funds to address deferred maintenance and energy efficiency projects at CSU campuses.

Emergency Student Financial Assistance: The Budget includes $30 million in one-time General Funds to support emergency financial assistance grants to qualifying students who are enrolled in 6-units, demonstrate financial need, and have a 2.0 GPA in one of their previous terms.

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

 

California Community Colleges

Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA): The Budget includes $371.2 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to provide a 5.07% COLA.

Enrollment Growth: The Budget includes $23.8 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds for 0.5% enrollment growth.

Deferrals: The Budget includes $1.453 billion in Proposition 98 General Funds to settle all community college deferrals created in the previous state budgets.

Emergency Financial Assistance: The Budget includes $250 million in one-time federal American Recovery Plan Act of 2021 funds to support emergency student financial assistance grants for qualifying students who are enrolled in 6-units, demonstrate financial need, and have a 2.0 GPA in one of their previous terms.

Basic Needs & Mental Health: The Budget includes $160 million in Proposition 98 General Funds to cover students’ basic needs and to provide mental health resources. It will include a $100 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund, available over three years, that addresses students’ basic needs including food and housing insecurity; $30 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to support student mental health services; and $30 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds for colleges to establish basic needs centers and hire basic needs coordinators.

Culturally Competent Professional Development: The Budget includes $20 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds for culturally competent professional development for faculty, including leveraging technology to improve learning outcomes.

Online Education & Supports Block Grant: The Budget includes $10.6 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to support the continuance of education and quality distance learning across the CCC system. It will provide access to online tutoring, online counseling, and online student support services like mental health services.

Zero-Textbooks-Cost Degrees: The Budget includes $115 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to develop and implement zero-textbook-cost degrees and open educational resources.

Retention and Enrollment Strategies: The Budget provides an increase of $120 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to support efforts to bolster CCC student retention rates and enrollment.

Guided Pathways: The Budget includes an increase of $50 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to further support colleges’ efforts to implement Guided Pathways programs.

Categorical Program Augmentations: The Budget includes an increase of $64.2 million in ongoing Proposition 98 General Funds to support budget augmentations for the Student Equity and Achievement Program, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), the Umoja Program, the MESA Program, and the Puente Project.

Common Course Numbering: The Budget includes $10 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Funds to plan and develop a common course numbering system throughout the community college system.

AB 1460 Implementation and Anti-Racism Initiatives: The Budget includes $5.6 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to support the implementation of the provisions of AB 1460 (2020) as well as other systemwide anti-racism initiatives.

CENIC Broadband: The Budget includes $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 Medicine Scholars Program: The Budget includes $10.5 million in one-time General Funds for the California Medicine Scholars Program. This is a 5-year pilot program which will establish a regional pipeline program for community college students to pursue premedical training and enter medical school. The goal of this program is to address the shortage of primary care physicians in California and the widening disparities in access to care in vulnerable and underserved communities.

 

California Student Aid Commission

California Community College Entitlement Award Expansion: The Budget includes $235.1 in ongoing General Funds to expand community college student eligibility for a Cal Grant award. It will eliminate the age and time-out-of-high-school requirement, which served as a barrier to hundreds of thousands of low-income students. Additionally, newly eligible CCC students will be able to keep their awards upon transfer to a CSU or UC in order to support their nontraditional pathway to college enrollment.

Cal Grant Awards for Private Non-Profit: The Budget includes $5.4 million in ongoing General Funds to increase Cal Grant A and B awards, for students attending private non-profit postsecondary institutions, to $9,220. Additionally, from 2021–2022 through 2022-2023, the Budget delays a requirement on private non-profit institutions to admit at least 3,000 Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) students to keep the maximum grant award.

Restoring Cal Grant A Eligibility: The Budget includes $14.8 million in ongoing General Funds to restore Cal Grant A eligibility for students impacted by a change in their living status due to the pandemic.

Summer Financial Aid Program: The Budget includes a $3 million augmentation for the CSU and a $2 million augmentation for UC in ongoing General Funds to cover summer-term student financial aid in 2021-22. These increases will result in an ongoing $4 million total amount at the UC and $6 million at the CSU for summer-term student financial aid.

Former & Current Foster Youth Access Award: The Budget includes $15.1 million in ongoing General Funds to provide a supplemental access award to former or current foster youth.

Linking Higher Education and Employment Opportunities: The Budget includes $200 million in one-time General Funds in 2021-22 and commits an additional $300 million in one-time General Funds in 2022-23 to establish the Learning Aligned Employment program which CSAC will administer. This program will function as a state work-study program for students attending the UC, CSU, or CCC. This program will be made available to resident students from underrepresented backgrounds who are enrolled at least part-time, maintain satisfactory academic progress, and demonstrate financial need. The learning-aligned employment will pertain to the students’ areas of study or career interests; the employers will provide them with, or connect them to, full-time employment opportunities upon graduation.

Middle-Class Scholarship: The Budget provides an increase of $515 million in ongoing General Funds beginning in 2022-23, for a total of $632 million, to support a modified version of the Middle-Class Scholarship program. It will focus resources toward reducing a students’ total costs –of –attendance and will amount to the difference between the cost of attendance and other financial aid and family and student contributions. These awards aim to enable eligible students to reduce their need to borrow in order to finance their education and, further, to enable students to reduce their need to work while attending college.