SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed education budget for the fiscal year 2021–22:
“At a time when a global pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for our students, families, and educators, the weeks and months ahead represent the most important moment for public education in a lifetime. The investments we choose must help our schools urgently and immediately recover from this crisis and accelerate learning for the students and families hardest hit by a global pandemic that has deepened historic inequities. Our priorities should not only help our schools emerge safely from the impacts of COVID-19, but should immediately double down on our efforts to level the playing field for a generation of students.
“I want to thank Governor Gavin Newsom for proposing a budget that—until our educators, school employees, and communities are vaccinated—addresses main areas of need as public schools consider how to safely resume in-person instruction. Today’s budget proposal also represents a strong start at tackling the growing access and learning gaps experienced most severely among our students of color, low-income households, children with disabilities, and students learning English.
“As the budget process plays out, we think there are opportunities to engage and solicit input from California’s students, families, educators, and partners to explore ways we can do more to begin offsetting learning gaps now, including identifying more academic enrichment opportunities, expanded learning programs and interventions, and family engagement strategies. Greater investments in mental health also will be critical moving forward to address the severe trauma our students have experienced during this crisis, which we know will have a lasting impact on their ability to learn and succeed through the rest of lives.
“We look forward to working with the Governor’s Office, the Legislature, and all educational stakeholders on the details of today’s budget proposal and to strengthen investments in ways that position all of California’s six million students to succeed.”
The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s website. You may also follow Superintendent Thurmond on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.