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Gov. Gavin Newsom presents his May budget revision on May 14, which included a $93.7 billion investment in California schools.
Newsom’s May revision proposes ‘historic’ $93.7B for education
May 24, 2021
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his “California for All Kids” plan on May 14 as part of his presentation on the revised state budget, which proposes a total of $267 billion in spending and projects a $75.7 billion surplus.
The budget includes $93.7 billion for public education — a level Newsom said was the “highest ever” for the state. He said his education funding plan is a five-year strategy to “make public schools essential.”
“We want to make them competitive,” Newsom said. “We want to make our public education system enriching … what it’s capable of being.”
The $93.7 billion Proposition 98 guarantee reflects a three-year increase of $17.7 billion over the level estimated in the January proposed budget, according to Newsom’s administration. Prop. 98 per-pupil spending would reach $13,977, a number Newsom highlighted during his presentation.
“Compare that to 10 years ago, when it was $7,000,” he said. “If you include the federal dollars and money that’s actually going to K-12 this year, the per-pupil spending gets to $21,000. I never thought I’d be able to say that.”
The May revision assumes a return to full-time, in-person instruction for the 2021-22 school year as the default for schools. Independent study would be the only allowable virtual option for students and their families. Newsom also proposed $2 billion in one-time Prop. 98 funds to assist the reopening of schools, which include testing and vaccine initiatives and improved ventilation.
“If you include federal dollars ... per-pupil spending gets to $21,000. I never thought I’d be able to say that.”
— Gov. Gavin Newsom on education spending in the May Budget
Newsom proposed a larger cost of living adjustment, also called a “super-COLA,” in the amount of 5.07 percent for the Local Control Funding Formula. That calculation combines a 1.7 percent COLA for 2021-22 and a 2.31 percent adjustment for 2020-21 that was not funded in last year’s budget, along with an additional augmentation of 1 percent. A 1.7 percent COLA would apply to categorical programs that remain outside of the LCFF and special education, including adult education, child nutrition and state preschool.
Additionally, the governor announced his plans for universal transitional kindergarten (TK) in California, proposing that $900 million in the May revision be allocated for its implementation. By 2024-25, the funding would increase to $2.7 billion. Universal access would provide all of the state’s 4-year-old children the chance to participate in TK.
“This is extraordinary,” Newsom said of his TK proposal. “This enlivens me. I was hoping to get this done as governor over the course of a full term.”
The state Legislature can now negotiate the components of the proposed budget until the June 15 constitutional deadline. ACSA advocates will continue their work with the administration, Legislature and California Department of Education to ensure the voices of students and our members are heard during the process.

Read ACSA's full May revise analysis.
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