SACRAMENTO – California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins issued the following statement Thursday commending Governor Gavin Newsom for his first state budget proposal and a record $80.7 billion for education as well as record funding for other key programs:
“Governor Gavin Newsom’s budget released today reflects his commitment to the children and students of California from cradle to career and demonstrates that he understands the needs and priorities in public education. He clearly listened to parents and educators by presenting this historic $80.7 billion for our students, which is a big step toward reducing chronic underfunding of public education. His commitment to universal kindergarten and preschool is exactly what he talked about during the campaign and, more importantly, is how we give all kids an equal start. As educators we know how important early childhood education is. It gives kids the start they need and improves learning as they advance in school.
“The additional money coming through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will help schools increase programs for students, reduce class sizes, and recruit and retain quality educators for every classroom. The additional investment in special education will help schools and educators serving those students and will help close the funding gap from the federal government, which has never fulfilled its commitment to special education.
“Equally important is the funding to help school districts offset increased pension costs which will help districts recruit and retain quality educators. Those additional dollars will also help school districts and local teachers plan and fund local priorities for students and schools.
“Also noted in the budget proposal is the governor’s commitment to eliminating the waste fraud and abuse in privately-managed charter schools that has adversely impacted so many students. Gov. Newsom is demanding transparency and accountability at all schools which will ensure these corporate charter schools follow the same standards as neighborhood public schools, and that includes following the open records and meeting acts.
“The eight percent increase for the California State University system and money for a second year of free community college for full-time students is also an historic investment. This will make college and career accessible to more students who want to further their education but just can’t afford it.
“Finally, to further demonstrate his commitment to working families acquiring the American dream, the governor takes strong steps toward addressing the housing crisis throughout the state, expanding health care access, providing low-income tax relief and expanding paid family leave. Educators look forward to working with Governor Newsom and the Legislature throughout the budget process to ensure all students have the resources to succeed, safe environment to grow and opportunity to thrive in their very own communities.”