State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Calls Governor Newsom’s Education Budget a Home Run

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SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20.

“Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said.

Governor Newsom proposed increasing K–12 education by $2.3 billion, investing $1.8 billion in early education, and providing $3.7 billion to help all districts deal with rising pension costs, which are stressing budgets of districts throughout the state. The pension aspect of his budget includes a proposed a one-time $3 billion contribution to CalSTRS and $700 million in each of fiscal year 2019–20 and 2020–21 to reduce the rates districts are charged for their employees’ pensions.

“I am pleased that Governor Newsom is placing a top priority on education and look forward to a strong, productive partnership with him, the Legislature, and all stakeholders in the next few years that will lift up all of our students by improving our education system and increasing the resources that go to our schools,” he said.

Thurmond also praised the proposed $1.8 billion in early learning and childhood programs, which could help close the achievement gap.

“All children need to enter grade school ready and prepared to learn, but some children, especially those from low-income communities, do not have access to high quality early learning programs, creating a “readiness gap.” This investment would help reduce that gap.

Studies show that investments in quality early education and child care programs pay off with dramatic savings. Every dollar invested in quality pre-kindergarten programs saves more than $7 because students in these programs are more likely to finish high school, obtain jobs, and avoid the criminal justice system.”

Thurmond also said he was pleased the Governor’s budget recognizes the need to invest in training, the early learning and care workforce, and the facilities that house those classes and services.