Today, May 12, 2021, Governor Newsom shared that the state is experiencing a $75.7 billion surplus, which will enable his revised budget proposal to invest an additional $20 billion for public education.

This announcement came while on tour at Elkhorn Elementary School in the North Monterey County Unified School District, alongside California State Board of Education President Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

On Friday, May 14, 2021, the Governor’s May Revision will lay out a five-year blueprint to support the social-emotional well-being of students and transform schools into gateways of opportunity, with greater details:

Fully Implement Universal Transitional Kindergarten by 2024-25

  • Proposes $2.7 billion by 2024-25 to create a new grade level, known as transitional kindergarten, to allow every four-year-old child to access the program. Also proposes to provide $740 million to reduce class-size ratios from teachers to students, from 1:24 to 1:12, and provide for a minimum of three hours of instruction.
  • Proposes to expand subsidized child care slots by 100,000 to address immediate needs.

Expand Community Schools and Behavioral Health System

  • Proposes $3 billion to expand access to the community school model to provide additional behavioral health and mental health services to students.
  • Proposes $4 billion over five years to identify and treat behavioral health needs of students.

Support Teacher Pipeline and Improve Staff-to-Student Ratios

  • Proposes $3.3 billion in one-time funding over a five-year period for teacher pipeline and training programs.
  • Proposes $1.1 billion to improve the staff-to-student ratio at all schools serving the highest concentrations of vulnerable students, including up to five additional counselors, nurses, teachers or paraprofessionals at each school.

Expand After School and Summer School Programs

  • Proposes $1 billion to expand after school and before school programs, and summer school activities, with a focus on providing $5 billion in total investments by 2025-26.
  • Proposes $2.6 billion to build upon the funding provided for accelerated learning in AB 86.

Create College Savings Accounts

  • Proposes $2 billion (non-Proposition 98 funding) to create college savings accounts for eligible students enrolled in K-12 public schools based on their income status. The base savings deposit amount will be $500 for each eligible student, with a $500 supplemental deposit for foster youth and homeless students.
  • Proposes $170 million in ongoing annual funding for incoming first-grade students who fit the same criteria.

When a reporter asked the Governor about the future of distance learning, he reinforced that SB 98 (Chapter 24, 2020) sunsets distance learning on June 30, 2021, and that the expectation is that students will return to full, in-person instruction in the 2021-22 academic year.

We will release further details when available, as well as a full May Revision report on Friday, May 14, 2021.