Billions in extra education funds brings praise from around state
Craig Clough | May 14, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget, which directs billions more toward schools over the next few years, has brought smiles to the faces of educational leaders around the state.
The overall amount includes an additional $3.1 billion for the current academic year and $2.7 billion extra for next year and could mean as much as $400 million for LA United this school year, according to the district.
Applause and cheers has been rolling in, but as the district said, “Half of these funds are ongoing and half are one-time only. This money has already been allocated for programs and personnel. The additional state funds resolve the deficit for the next school year. However, even with the new revenue assumptions, the District continues to face deficits in the following years.”
Here are some statements from local and state leaders:
- LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines: “The governor’s commitments to education and career preparation are strategic investments in California’s future. Today’s announcement of increased financial support for schools will help improve the lives of students in the Los Angeles area. We will prioritize these new resources to make our students college and career-ready.”
- LAUSD board member Bennett Kayser: “More is better. The State never should have treated public education like a piggy-bank to be raided when times got tough. We have set high standards for our students and our staff at LAUSD but 49th in the nation in per-pupil-funding does not provide us with the means to achieve those goals. We must continue the fight in California to raise the level of investment in our children through public education.”
- LAUSD board member Mónica García: “Welcome news from Gov. Brown! Our communities seek greater investment from the state and encourage the Legislators to join Gov Brown in beginning the road for accelerated ongoing investments in our learning environments.”
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson: “Governor Brown’s May Revision continues the great progress we have been making to better fund California’s public schools and better prepare students for careers and college in the 21st century. I applaud the Governor for his leadership on education.”
- Education Trust West: “We thank Governor Brown for increasing the investment in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and applaud his overall commitment to increased education funding in his proposed 2015-16 state budget. The additional LCFF funding is critical to meeting the needs of California’s neediest students by fully implementing the new funding formula that Governor Brown championed. However, we are disappointed by the Governor’s decision on funding for the implementation of new state standards. The May Revision proposes one allocation of funds that school districts could use for two purposes: either implementation of new standards, or payment for previous unreimbursed mandates.”
- California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt: “More than $6 billion in revenues beyond projections present an opportunity to build on the progress we have made in public education since the passage of Prop 30,” said , “and the Governor makes a good start with the May Revision. However, we have a long way to go before we restore the programs in education and social services we lost to a decade of budget cuts. Whatever basic stability we have achieved is due to Prop 30, and that needs to be recognized by making its revenues permanent and seeking fair, new sources to fund California’s future.”
- Students Matter: “At Students Matter, we agree that schools need more resources and praise the Governor for his leadership on this important topic. In fact, our lawsuit, Vergara v. California, is based in part on the case law established by the Serrano cases, which addressed the state’s public education financing system and established precedent recognizing that California’s students have a fundamental right to equal educational opportunity under the law. But we also know that funding alone won’t address the multifaceted challenges faced by our students. We must also solve for the systemic educational quality issues that are propagated and reinforced by California’s current Education Code.”
- CTA President Dean E. Vogel: “The governor’s revised state budget plan keeps the promise to California’s students and the promise of Proposition 30 as approved by voters. His continued commitment and repayment of the debt owed to California’s students, schools and colleges keeps us on the road to recovery. After years of more than $20 billion in devastating budget cuts and thousands of educator layoffs, that recovery is still in the beginning stages. Critical student programs are beginning to be restored, but our class sizes remain the largest in the country, we rank 46th in per-student funding, and dead last in the number of school counselors and librarians. The May revised budget, which includes the repayment of all school deferrals is another important step in the right direction.”
*Clarifies amount of money expected for LA Unified, according to the district.