As the year draws to a close, the California State Senate and Assembly have unveiled their budget blueprints for 2022. As education stakeholders look ahead to the Governor’s January Budget Proposal and the beginning of negotiations between legislators and the Newsom administration in the new year, these documents provide insight into where the Legislature plans to focus funds.
Assembly to focus on “Delivering Prosperity” and “Strengthening the Future”
The Assembly blueprint outlines two major focuses: “Delivering Prosperity” by ensuring that the investments made in the 2021 budget are successful and “Strengthening the Future” with new targeted investments. Highlights for education include:
- $10 billion for school facilities
- Ensuring that increased school funding aids students facing learning loss and mental health struggles
- Overseeing the implementation of universal transitional kindergarten
- Establishing accountability measures for the Children and Youth Behavioral Initiative established in 2021
- Providing broadband access to inaccessible rural and urban communities
Senate outlines three “Key Values”
The Senate plan is built around three “Key Values”: sustain progress, strengthen equity while meeting Gann limit requirements and build a more equitable economy. For education, the most influential of the goals the Senate lays out may be:
- Paying down state debts and retirement liabilities
- Utilizing one-time funds for one-time/short-term purposes
- Maximizing infrastructure investments, including for schools
- Boosting 21st-century infrastructure, including education and broadband
- Closing learning gaps and protecting local school budgets
Gov. Newsom is expected to announce his January budget proposal early in the new year, which will mark the official start of the 2022 budget season. As CSBA looks ahead, recommitment to the Local Control Funding Formula, employer pension contributions, declining enrollment, average daily attendance growth during COVID, funding for education facilities, and transportation are among the top budget issues on which CSBA will continue to advocate. As always, the Governmental Relations team will continue to provide updates and opportunities for advocacy as the budget cycle moves forward.