California Lawmakers Aim to Avoid K-12 Budget Cuts in State Budget Agreement

Press Release

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After Governor Gavin Newsom had issued his May Revise Budget, it included major cuts to K-14 schools to the tune of $19 billion. Lawmakers agreed to a budget that would not impact schools.

The California State Senate and Assembly leaders announced Wednesday they have agreed to a state budget that would override Newsom’s proposal on education cuts.

State legislators still need to reach an agreement with Governor Newsom.

Senate, Assembly Reach Agreement on 2020-21 Budget

SACRAMENTO— Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), and Budget Committee Chairs, Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D- San Francisco) announced today an agreement has been reached between the Senate and the Assembly on the proposed 2020-2021 state budget.

The joint legislative plan builds on the Governor’s framework to further protect jobs and preserve vital services, while recognizing the sober economic outlook facing California. Acknowledging the strong likelihood of additional federal relief, the plan would use reserves to avoid overcutting now, while still keeping reserves on hand for the future, and ensuring full funding of K-14 schools. The plan also increases legislative oversight on COVID-19 spending, recognizes that employee groups are engaging in the collective bargaining process with the administration, and encourages health plans to engage with the administration in discussing options that may be needed in the months ahead.

“Our economy has been pummeled by COVID-19, but thanks to a decade of pragmatic budgeting, we can avoid draconian cuts to education and critical programs, or broad middle-class tax increases. Californians are counting on us to make the right call at the right time. Working families who still have jobs but need the state’s safety net are relying on us to budget carefully so that our state, and all who live here, can rebound,” said Atkins. “This plan builds off the spirit of Governor Newsom’s proposal, and will set our state on a path of economic recovery, while avoiding actions that would further harm Californians.”

“The key budget goal is preserving programs serving those who are most vulnerable. Nevertheless, all the budget plans being discussed acknowledge the possibility that more difficult cuts will be necessary, due to COVID spending needs and weak revenues,” said Rendon. “This will be especially true if Washington, D.C. doesn’t step up. The Legislature is prepared to work closely with the Governor to achieve California’s goals. That’s how, over the past decade, we built the large budget reserve that now helps us face the fiscal crisis.”  

“Although we worked with an abbreviated timeframe, the integrity and responsibility of our proposal has been maintained. Everyone has stepped up to the plate to make sure we do not make conditions worse. The Administration had a tough job, working with a $54 billion shortfall; we used their proposal with a couple of key differences. We still have a lot of work to do but we are aware the June 15 budget deadline will not be our last action this year due to the ongoing devastating impacts of COVID-19,” said Mitchell.

“The joint legislative budget agreement shows our commitment to helping all Californians through the tough times brought on by COVID-19,” said Ting. “We prioritized vital safety net programs and restored many proposed cuts because we cannot leave working families behind, as we forge a path to economic recovery. This shared fiscal plan gives us momentum to pass a balanced, on-time budget by the June 15th deadline.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a known fact that most of the United States’ budget is funneled into defense funds, the military & of course the ever-increasing military police forces that continue to wage war on its citizens. Why don’t we have any money for our schools and teachers? Why don’t we have enough money and supplies for our healthcare workers? Politicians will forever fear-monger it’s citizenry into defunding what really matters in this society and instead pump cash into the Police piggy bank, no pun intended….

  2. I hope the governor does the right thing and saves our schools from this nightmare. Both sides of the aisle should agree that our kids shouldn’t suffer even more through all this, and that they deserve the best and brightest teachers so they can continue to teach, inspire, and prepare them for higher learning.

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