Governor Newsom and the state Legislature came to an agreement on
a $263 billion budget that reflects the state’s extraordinary
surplus and billions from the latest round of federal stimulus
funding from the American Rescue Plan. Spending for K-12
education totals $123.9 billion and is at an all-time high,
including the largest ever allocation of Proposition 98 funding
for schools and community colleges.
On July 9, Governor Newsom signed a historic education budget with an unprecedented investment in our students and schools.
The California Legislature voted on and passed identical budget bills (AB/SB 129) on June 28, after reaching agreement with the governor about most budget issues. The full budget is $263 billion, thanks to an extraordinary surplus and the latest round of federal stimulus funding from the American Rescue Plan. A few outstanding details will be finalized in trailer bills.
California began the previous budget year with a looming
recession forecasted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a
projected $54 billion deficit. However, due mostly to the
inequitable recovery of the stock market, profits from Silicon
Valley, and high-income earners that did not lose their jobs, the
state now has projected a $75.7 billion surplus.
Governor Newsom introduced his proposed $227 billion budget for
2021-22 on January 8. The proposed budget is starkly different
from what lawmakers anticipated when they finalized the 2020-21
budget, largely because of much larger than expected tax
The General Fund budget is $164.5 billion, which is a 5.5%
increase over 2020-21. The governor’s proposal devotes $14
“early actions” that would provide various forms of relief
due to the COVID-19 pandemic and includes $34 billion of
“resiliency” proposals that rebuild the state’s reserves. The
revenue projections result in much higher Proposition 98 funding
than was expected.
Gov. Newsom released the annual January budget proposal for the
2021-22 budget year, totaling $227.2 billion on Friday, January
8. The budget is very different from what lawmakers anticipated
six months ago, when the 2020-21 budget was finalized, thanks to
much larger than expected tax receipts. The proposal
includes $34 billion allocated to reserves (including the Public
School System Stabilization reserve) and as discretionary surplus
To cap a tumultuous week, today Governor Newsom announced his
state budget proposal for the coming year. Despite a struggling
economy, and high unemployment, the top line budget numbers are
hopeful for public education: a record $85.8 billion for K-14
schools, along with additional funding for teacher recruitment
and training, and special education, among other programs.
Additionally, the governor estimates that there will be an
additional $6.7 billion from the federal government for K-12 as
part of the most recent stimulus package.
Each November, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) is tasked
with providing the state Legislature with forecasting of the
state’s revenue and budget constraints. Those numbers have just
been released to provide a starting point for what to expect in
budget negotiations for the California 2021-22 state budget.
Governor Newsom signed
Senate Bill 820 into law on September 18, 2020. This budget
trailer bill is a technical clean-up bill for
Senate Bill 98, which was signed into law on June 29 as part
of the 2020-21 state budget. SB 820 contains several
clarifications that have an impact on early childhood, preK-12
schools, and higher education.
Major provisions of this bill affect both schools and
community colleges. They are listed first, followed by
more provisions specific to each division. You can also download
our pdf version.
Revises deadlines for spending COVID-19 learning loss mitigation
$355.2 million of these funds are from the Federal Trust
Fund. The deadline for spending these funds is extended by one
year, to September 30, 2022 (previously Sept. 30, 2021).
$539.9 million of these funds are from the state General
Fund. The deadline for spending these funds is extended to June
30, 2021 (previously Dec. 30, 2020).
$4.4 billion of these funds are from the Coronavirus Relief
Fund and there is no change to the deadline for spending these
funds (December 30, 2020).
Broadens eligibility to more districts for low-cost borrowing
Allows school and community college districts, and county
offices of education, to use the California School Finance
Authority (CSFA) intercept, which will enable those districts to
lower borrowing costs to address state funding deferrals.
Broadens use of funding for instructional materials and lottery
Existing law defines “instructional materials” and
“technology-based materials” such that it excludes electronic
equipment and could prohibit a school district from purchasing
computers or related equipment. The bill deletes language that
excludes electronic equipment from the definition of
technology-based materials and the provisions prohibiting the
replacement of computers or establishing a new computer lab. It
specifies that technology-based materials also include the
electronic equipment required to make use of those materials used
by pupils and teachers as a learning resource, including, but not
limited to, laptop computers and devices that provide internet
Clarifies the definition of “instructional materials” in a
new section of the Government Code, which will allow schools and
community colleges to use lottery funds to purchase instructional
materials. It specifies that instructional materials “include,
but are not limited to, laptop computers and devices that provide
internet access for use by pupils, students, teachers, and
faculty as learning resources,” and provides more flexibility in
the use of these funds.
Provides funding for enrollment growth
Amends the Budget Act to allow Local Educational Agencies
(LEAs), for their 2020-21 apportionment, to apply for either
planned increases or actual planned growth to classroom-based
student attendance in lieu of the 2019-20 average daily
attendance (ADA) hold-harmless guarantee adopted in the Budget
Act of 2020-21 under certain conditions.
Excludes non-classroom-based charter schools from eligibility
for enrollment growth funding.
Provides additional support for early childhood education/child
Clarifies that funding for child care providers located on an
LEA campus qualifies for the hold harmless provision in the
Budget Act, if the LEA is closed per public health guidance or
Increases funding by $31.25 million in federal Child Care and
Development Block Grant funds (CCDBG) and increases allowable
non-operative days for alternative payment program providers by
another 14 days (for COVID-19 related closures).
Extends the waiver of family fees for child care services
through Aug 31, 2020, and waives family fees for the 2020-21
Updates other deadlines and requirements
Executive Order N-66-20 authorized postponement of various
educator assessment requirements, including attaining all other
credential requirements, during the pandemic. The trailer bill
extends the postponement to August 2021.
Physical Performance Test for 2020-21 is suspended.
The Budget Act postponed the deadline for developing an
observation protocol for teaching English Language Learners to
2021. This trailer bill postpones it an additional year to 2022.
The timeline for initial assessment of pupils for English
language proficiency using the English Language Proficiency
Assessment for California (ELPAC) is extended by 45 calendar days
for the 2020-21 fiscal year. LEAs are required to screen new
pupils, pending assessment results, to ensure those informally
determined to be English learners receive appropriate supports as
soon as possible.
Increases funding for summer meal program
Increases the 2020-21 Budget Act appropriation for the COVID
closure and summer meal program state reimbursement from $112
million in CARES Act funds to a total of $192 million through a
combination of federal and general funds to reimburse LEAs.
Clarifies use of online instruction
Clarifies that LEAs are not prohibited from adopting online
instruction as part of a distance learning program and clarifies
that except as required under a distance learning program,
individuals may not record an online course without teacher and
Extends encumbrance date of Community Schools Partnership Grant
Amends the date by which grant funds from the California
Community Schools Partnership Program must be encumbered to
September 22, 2022, to align with the availability period for the
federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)
Amends appropriation for California Dyslexia Initiative
Amends the appropriation for the Dyslexia Initiative to
reflect $2 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund and $2
million in one-time federal funds instead of $4 million in
one-time federal funds.
Expands Community College Board of Governors
Adds the Lieutenant Governor as a voting member to the Board
Allows University of California to use savings to avoid layoffs
As of Jan. 1, 2021, General Fund capital expenditures may
proceed only after certification that cleaning, maintenance,
groundskeeping, food service, and other work traditionally
performed by UC employees may not be outsourced.
Authorizes UC to use savings from refunding, retiring, or
restructuring bond debt to mitigate impacts to programs and
services that predominantly support underrepresented students and
to provide for continued employment for employees without
layoffs, furloughs, and reductions in time.
For additional information about SB 820, please contact:
As we navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic, Californians are
experiencing crises that reach far beyond the immediate public
and personal health emergencies. The poorest Californians,
disproportionately people of color in the service, hospitality,
and healthcare sectors, have either lost their jobs, resulting in
a spike to unemployment unlike anything we have seen in our
lifetimes, or are risking their health performing essential
The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent economic collapse along with
the national uprising against police brutality and systemic
racism have cast a glaring light on the nature of American
inequality on the healthcare, criminal justice, and economic
fronts. It has never been clearer that as most Americans
struggle, the elite thrive.
Governor Newsom released the May Revision to the 2020-21 state budget on May 14. California began 2020 with a solid fiscal foundation. As the proposal notes, the state started the year with a “strong and diverse economy, historic reserves, and a structurally balanced budget.
The state had eliminated past budgetary debts and deferrals and was making extraordinary payments to reduce pension liabilities. In January, a budget surplus of $5.6 billion was projected for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Revenues through March were running $1.35 billion above projections.
The governor and the Legislature know the COVID-19 pandemic has
blown a huge hole in the state budget, but they can’t easily
project state revenues or the impact on Proposition 98 — the
mechanism that provides K-12 schools and community colleges about
40 percent of the state’s General Fund.
On January 10, Gov. Brown released his
proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year amidst uncertainty
about how federal actions may impact California. Federal funds
currently account for more than one-third of the state budget,
and according to the California Budget & Policy Center, 7.9
percent of federal dollars currently go to K-12 education and 5.2
percent to higher education.