Proposed budget anticipates shortfall
January 23, 2023
After last year’s historic investment in public education, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a Proposition 98 education funding guarantee of $108.8 billion, a decrease of $1.5 billion from projected levels.
The governor unveiled his proposed budget Jan. 10 that included an estimated $22.5 billion deficit, reflecting declines in revenue, particularly in capital gains. But Newsom vowed to continue supporting new education programs, noting that per-pupil spending in California would reach an all-time high of $17,519 if this budget is enacted.
The governor also announced a Local Control Funding Formula cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 8.13 percent.
“It’s a number I never expected to see,” Newsom said. “I’m proud we were able to prioritize this COLA through the LCFF … it’s expressive of our commitment to equity.”
Newsom discussed a new $300 million proposal to create an “equity multiplier” within LCFF. The funds would be distributed to school sites serving high concentrations of students eligible for free meals — specifically, elementary and middle school sites with 90 percent or more students eligible for free meals, and high schools with 85 percent or more free meal eligibility.
He emphasized the importance of maintaining funding for programs such as Universal Transitional Kindergarten, which he estimated would receive $3 billion from the state once fully implemented.
“We’ll continue our unprecedented transformation of public education,” Newsom said.
ACSA Executive Director Edgar Zazueta said on ACSA Legislative Lunch Break that the education community had been bracing for this budget proposal given the news of a budget shortfall.
“Yeah, there’s been a bit of a slowdown,” Zazueta said. “But the governor and administration have really called out school funding and tried to prioritize it.” He added that the administration has been receptive to hearing feedback from school leaders who have asked for more support with their current programs, rather than adding new commitments.
“A lot has been put on the plate of our educators,” he said. “Why don’t we make sure we [implement] what we already have in place before we put in anything more? I think the governor has heard that.”
Senior Director of Governmental Relations Iván Carrillo said Newsom and his administration recognize that the success of the new programs depends on full funding; however, he pointed out Newsom’s proposal to reduce the Arts, Music and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant from $3.5 billion to $2.3 billion.
Carrillo said school sites had budgeted for the full amount and most sites have already received the first half of the original $3.5 billion payment. He said the second payment, expected in the spring, “is being called into question.”
“[Schools] were told the dollar amount and when they’d receive it,” he said. “Those were planned for and budged for. We’ll make sure our policymakers understand this.”
The January budget proposal marks the beginning of state budget negotiations. ACSA’s advocates will continue to work with the governor and legislature to represent our members and push for investments in student success, equity and local control.
State Budget Proposal Analysis
Read ACSA's analysis of the 2023-24 budget proposal on the ACSA Resource Hub.
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