School Funding

Newsom signs law to send record funding to California schools


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Gov. Gavin Newsom chats with fifth-grader Oma Nelson, left, during his visit to Blue Oak Elementary School in Cameron Park in 2019. Newsom on Friday signed a record spending bill for the education in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom chats with fifth-grader Oma Nelson, left, during his visit to Blue Oak Elementary School in Cameron Park in 2019. Newsom on Friday signed a record spending bill for the education in California.

PA

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed legislation to send a record $ 123.9 billion to California schools, which will fund a new year of transitional kindergarten and more teaching opportunities in the summer and after school.

Newsom and lawmakers have yet to announce a final budget deal, but the bill Newsom signed on Friday represents an agreement on a large chunk of the state budget. California law requires that a large portion of state tax revenue be spent on education, so Newsom and lawmakers have limited control over the overall dollar amount, but they can dictate how the money is spent.

The bill signed by Newsom creates a new year in California public schools called Transitional Kindergarten, which Newsom and lawmakers say will create a better educational base for children in the state. The law aims to have a transitional kindergarten for all California 4-year-olds by 2025.

The new law also adds money for after-school and summer programs, funds free school meals for all students, and adds money for schools to hire more staff. It also includes money to help students who fell behind when the state switched to distance learning to avoid spreading COVID-19.

During a bill signing ceremony at an elementary school in Napa, Newsom noted that California’s surprisingly high tax revenues this year allow the state to fund the programs.

“This is unlike anything we’ve done in this state,” Newsom said just before inviting a group of school children to help him sign the bill. “So much that we have promoted, so much that we dreamed of – we are delivering when we sign this bill here today. “

Although Republicans in the Legislature applauded the record amount of funding for schools, some argued that the bill went too far in dictating how schools can use the money.

“I am concerned that this bill will cause enormous frustration for our local schools as it departs from the fundamental principle of local control and unfortunately takes a one-size-fits-all approach to delivering education,” MP Vince said. . Fong, R-Bakersfield, said before lawmakers voted to pass the bill on Thursday.

Democrats in the Legislature strongly supported the bill. MP Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, said the bill achieves many of the priorities that she and her fellow Democrats have championed for years.

“My heart is full, because for so many years – I have been in the Legislative Assembly for five years – we have worked very hard to try to get us to where we are today,” he said. she said when signing the Napa bill. “By signing this bill, Governor, you are changing lives. “

Sophia Bollag covers California politics and government. Prior to joining The Bee, she reported in Sacramento for The Associated Press and The Los Angeles Times. She grew up in California and graduated from Northwestern University.
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