“We are encouraged by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget, particularly his commitment to the Local Control Funding Formula, school construction, services for young children and families, and recognition of the challenges facing school districts in the form of rising costs for pensions and special education. The Governor has demonstrated an appreciation of the critical issues facing public schools as we work to provide the next generation of Californians with the tools needed to expand our prosperity and ensure that every Californian can participate meaningfully in and benefit from our society.
Now that the arrow is pointed in the right direction, we need to augment positive intent with substantial and concrete investment. We have the largest economy in the country – the fifth-largest in the world – and yet we rank 41st nationally in per-pupil funding and 45th in the percentage of tax revenue dedicated to public schools. In a state with the highest levels of poverty and the greatest percentage of English learners in the country, we need Full and Fair Funding to ensure that every student has access to a high-quality education.
The numbers make it clear: the Proposition 98 guarantee doesn’t allow us to keep pace with the rest of America or to provide what our students deserve. We need greater investment in our students, in health, in counseling, in math, science, technology, career preparation, and the creative arts so that we can improve student performance, close opportunity and achievement gaps and propel our children and our state to reach their full potential.”
Dr. Emma Turner is La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board President and President of the California School Boards Association