For the second consecutive year, Governor Gavin Newsom has positioned himself as the face of the May Revision by holding press conferences in advance of the official release. Although, the change in tone year-over-year could not be more different. Recall that on May 7, 2020, Governor Newsom announced that the state was projecting a $54 billion shortfall—a combination of depressed revenues and increased expenditures resulting from the pandemic. Fast forward one year to May 10, 2021, when the same Governor announced a $100 billion California Comeback Plan.
With eye-popping state revenues feeding an ambitious agenda, Newsom announced multi-year plans for transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds, full funding for summer school and after school for 2 million children, hundreds of new service-based community schools and a $2 billion program to set up a $500 college savings account for every low-income child entering public school.
Newsom called his proposals a “$20 billion blueprint over the next five years for the total transformation” of schools. Even more upbeat, Linda Darling-Hammond, Newsom’s adviser and president of the State Board of Education, characterized the spending as “a set of interlocking interventions and investments that are going to catapult California back to that leadership position (in education) and more important, it will enable all of our children to be on a path to genuine thriving.”
The Governor also reiterated what he has been recently saying: He expects all school districts and charter schools to revert to full-day, in-person instruction in the fall, as they did before the pandemic. Those districts that fail to provide full-day instruction will not be eligible for student funding, according to administration officials who offered a preview of Newsom’s updated state budget for K-12 schools.
In addition to the $6.6 billion “early, early action” packages that resulted in Assembly Bill 86, the Governor unveiled a nearly $20 billion transformational commitment to education through a five-year blueprint that will be part of the May Revision:
|Behavioral and Mental Health (Ages 0–25)||$ 4.0 billion|
|Teacher Training/Residency||$ 3.3 billion|
|Community Schools||$ 3.0 billion|
|Universal Transitional Kindergarten||$ 2.7 billion|
|“High Dose” Tutoring||$ 2.6 billion|
|529 College Savings Accounts for Disadvantaged Youth||$ 2.0 billion|
|Lower Adult-to-Student Ratios||$ 1.1 billion|
|After School Education and Safety (ASES) Funding Increase||$1.0 billion|