May 14, 2021
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Praises the Highest Level of Funding Ever for Public Education in Governor’s Budget Update
Proposed investments build on priority areas championed by State Superintendent before and during the pandemic
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for fiscal year 2021–2022, which proposes key investments in areas the California Department of Education has championed both before the pandemic disrupted public education, and during its most urgent time of need.
“I commend Governor Newsom for his commitment and partnership in putting education, our youth, and California’s future first,” Thurmond stated. “With the highest level of funding ever for K–12 schools—an increase of $8.2 billion over the Governor’s proposed budget in January—we will not only help close the gaps that widened during the pandemic, but will rise to new heights by providing the resources our schools critically need to recover—investments to make us stronger, more equitable, and able serve all students and families.”
“Since Day One of this pandemic, I have said that we must recognize that the system was not working for every child before this public health crisis exacerbated long-standing inequities, and I immediately mobilized educational stakeholders, state leaders, and partners to help our schools navigate the challenges of a lifetime. In the past year, the California Department of Education has issued guidance and professional development to help schools offset learning gaps made worse by this year’s disruption, administered billions in relief to safely reopen schools and support learning, worked tirelessly to expand access to devices and technology, and built coalitions of support to fast-track and fill gaps in services for students who have experienced trauma and mental health challenges. In today’s budget proposal, all of these areas are reflected as priorities that deserve permanent investments if we want to transform public schools and build back better than ever.”
Center to the education announcements, the budget update provides for an average of nearly $14,000 per pupil before any additions from federal funding, a figure almost twice the average from 10 years ago. The revised proposal also includes unprecedented investments in class-size reduction; teacher preparation, learning acceleration, and tutoring; universal meals, summer school and afterschool programs; universal transitional kindergarten; and wraparound mental health, social, and family services and the formation of thousands of full-service community schools, so critically needed to put students and families back on track as California continues to make its way out of the pandemic.
Thurmond also called out the additional $7 billion in a ‘Broadband for All’ initiative to expand broadband infrastructure by incentivizing private internet providers to build in underserved areas, provide a $500 Million Loan Loss Reserve Account for local governments, tribes, and nonprofits to secure funds to build new fiber networks, and allocate $500 million to telephone service providers in rural areas to expand service to include broadband.
“It is inexcusable for any student to lack internet access in the 21st century. Governor Newsom’s budget proposal to invest in broadband expansion can bridge connectivity in our highest-need areas, and builds on the success of my Digital Divide Task Force, which spearheaded and accelerated efforts to equip hundreds of thousands of students with needed devices and technology they need now and into the future,” Thurmond said.
Other education-related highlights from the Governor’s revised budget include:
- $3.7M for Child College Savings Accounts
- $550M for teacher training / recruitment
- $500M for the Golden State Teacher Grant Program
- $100M for the expanded teacher residency program
- $125M for classified school employees / credentialing
- $66M for the Roadmap to Pre-K through 12 education employment program
- $2B in new funding to help schools reopen safely
- $6.6B as part of AB 86 signed earlier this year to provide grants to schools for in-person instruction and expanded learning opportunities
- $4B over four years to transform children’s behavioral health including connecting students to services for substance abuse, grief and trauma and psychological services
# # # #
Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100