New School Year Excitement
School bells are ringing across our Assembly District again! As a father and Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I'm thrilled to see California continue to maintain historic funding levels for TK-12 public schools, despite a decline in state revenues.
Our per-pupil spending is nearly $24,000, which is slightly higher than last year and keeps us in the nation's Top 20 in this category. The increase shows our commitment to transform public education. Just a decade ago, California ranked near the bottom.
Among this year's other state budget highlights:
- Local Control Funding Formula: An 8.2 percent cost-of-living raise for high-needs schools aiming to close the achievement and opportunity gaps; $300 million to help schools better support our lowest-performing student groups
- Expanded Opportunities For Academic Success: $250 million in one-time money for reading coaches and materials in the state's poorest schools; continuation of programs providing universal school meals and addressing pandemic-era learning loss
- Educator Career Development: $20 million in professional development grants for bilingual teachers; $10 million to create the Diverse Educators Pipeline Initiative to provide culturally relevant support and mentorship to educators who want to become school administrators; increased stipends for participants of the Teacher and School Counselor Residency program
- Special Education: $1 million to form an independent task force that would compile a list of screening tools to identify students with reading difficulties; California is one of ten states that doesn't screen for dyslexia
- Universal Transitional Kindergarten: Continued expansion to achieve universal transitional kindergarten in California by 2025; now, children turning five years old between September 2 and April 2 can enroll; the cutoff was previously February 2
I hope these investments help our children have a great school year. I'm proud of my role in crafting a plan that gives them the tools to succeed. Watch for another eAlert showcasing our higher education funding.