May 12, 2023
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond’s Statement on Education Budget—May Revision
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for fiscal year 2023–24:
“Even in difficult budgetary times, we continue to be grateful that Governor Newsom’s May Revise retains many of the major investments that have been made to public education over the last few years. With a tightening State Budget, education spending will continue to reflect our core values to provide safe and effective learning environments, to help our students heal and recover, and to provide equitable opportunities for a quality education to all students. This budget continues our commitment to learning recovery and flexibility for local educational agencies to adapt to their particular conditions and unique needs.
“California will make critical investments in education, including a substantial 8.22 percent cost-of-living adjustment for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to support our school districts in meeting the specific needs of their schools and community more effectively than with restrictive one-time funds.”
The Governor’s revised education budget is reflective of difficult decisions made necessary because of an increasing deficit and reduced Proposition 98 revenues.
“The Governor’s investments build on the work we have started at the California Department of Education with my Statewide Teacher Recruitment campaign. The teacher shortage that is plaguing our nation, as well as our state, is addressed in the May Revise. It increases funding for the $20,000 Golden State Teacher Grant. In addition, we anticipate that the final budget will have even greater investment to support teacher recruitment.”
Thurmond has sponsored legislation, Senate Bill 765 (Portantino), that would increase teacher residency stipends from $25,000 to $40,000. “In California, we are rising to the challenge and removing financial barriers to the profession in ways that are proven to not only recruit but retain quality educators. It is estimated that California needs to recruit 27,000 teachers, including thousands of Universal Transitional Kindergarten teachers, and we are stepping in to fill this gap and find solutions,” Thurmond said.
To further serve those seeking to become an educator in the state, Superintendent Thurmond also created a new one-stop information and referral system to connect candidates to scholarships, teacher credentialing programs, and school and district employers with current vacancies. People interested in becoming an educator in California can email TeachInCA@cde.ca.gov or call the hotline at 916-322-3051.
Equity Budget to Transform Education
Despite the challenges, the proposed budget continues to deliver strong support for California’s most vulnerable students and their families by allocating $80 million for court and community schools and fully funding the Universal Meals Program. Thurmond sponsored Universal Meals legislation as a key part of his Transforming California Schools Initiative and continues to advocate for increased funding for farm-to-school programs that support local purchasing and improve the quality and freshness of school meals. He has championed efforts to make sure students in California and across the country can access healthy, nutritious school meals.
“Our children will continue to benefit from the sustained commitment to literacy in this budget, especially for our youngest children. It is critical that we keep the ability to read by third grade as a key benchmark in measuring and predicting student success. My Reading by Third Grade by 2026 Initiative advances our commitment to supporting all students as they develop reading skills in English and other languages. The $1 million invested for a literacy workgroup will focus on screening tools to identify reading difficulties in K–2 students and will support early detection and intervention to improve literacy outcomes. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to further define this and implement this program.”
This funding is in line with the intent of Senate Bill 691, authorized by Senator Portantino, which would require universal dyslexia screening. Superintendent Thurmond has taken a support position on the bill; this key investment will create a way to address concerns that English learners might be over-identified as dyslexic. Moreover, Thurmond believes that by working together, the literacy workgroup will develop strategies to successfully implement a program for dyslexia screening, including a training program for those involved with dyslexia screening efforts.
“The May Revise also includes $20 million to support bilingual educators to address the shortage of bilingual teachers. This critical funding in the budget revision will go a long way in championing efforts to support and enhance bilingual education in our state. This proposal also reflects the intent of Assembly Bill 1127, which I am sponsoring with Assembly Majority Leader Gómez Reyes, to provide professional development for bilingual educators.
“Included in the May Revise is a $2.5 billion reduction for the Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant as well as a one-time reduction the Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Block Grant. We hope that legislators and the Governor might find a way to prevent or minimize reductions to these programs. Schools have made short- and long-term plans based on projections of the revenue received, but we do understand the current fiscal environment makes it hard to avoid some level of reduction.
“However, this budget doubles down on a commitment to equity. It is helping to close the opportunity gap with an ongoing $300 million Equity Multiplier based on the bill I sponsored last year to expand Black student achievement, Assembly Bill 2774. It has additional accountability measures incorporated into the Equity Multiplier proposal. Furthermore, it includes $7 million to support the implementation of restorative justice practices, something I have fought for since I was in the Assembly. Additional elements include $3 million ongoing for the Save the Children Afterschool Program; $2 million ongoing to support equity leads; and $1 million additional ongoing for the Museum of Tolerance, which I am proud to support as co-chair of the Governor’s Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education. I do believe that we can use education to end hate—all forms of hate. Finally, the budget specifies that Expanded Learning Opportunities Program allocations from 2021–22 and 2022–23 can continue to be used through 2023–24.”
The May Revise reflects a number of other bills that Thurmond is sponsoring or supporting:
- Assembly Bill 1127 (Reyes)—Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program
- Senate Bill 691 (Portantino)—Dyslexia risk screening
- Senate Bill 348 (Skinner)—Pupil meals
- Senate Bill 765 (Portantino)—Teachers: retired teachers, teacher preparation, student financial aid
View the Governor's May Revise budget summary document (PDF) via the Department of Finance website.
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100