CSLNet Reacts to News of Final Budget Deal
The California STEM Learning Network is pleased the 2015 state budget will include additional resources for schools to support implementation of high quality programming in STEM. This high-need investment comes as schools continue to dig out from under massive spending cuts suffered during the Great Recession that essentially left California school districts as one of the most underfunded education systems in the nation.
However, CSLNet will continue to push for additional continued reinvestments that are needed to meet STEM education and workforce demands throughout the state. In particular, we urge that additional funds be considered for this use if state revenues run above Governor Jerry Brown’s forecast, as many experts predict.
Specific STEM highlights:
– Gov. Brown agreed to add $450 million to support districts in the implementation of new standards including Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, although school districts will be left to decide exactly how these funds will be spent.
– $250 million set aside for a second supplement of the Career Pathways Trust competition to support a second round of competitive grants that will increase opportunities for students to complete education and training in high demand and rigorous career technical education fields. In addition, the budget includes $50 million in one-time funding for the community college system’s Economic and Workforce Development Program (EWD) to improve student success in career technical education that builds upon existing regional capacity to better meet local market demands.
Other Education Highlights:
– A $4.5 billion increase through the Local Control Funding Formula that will increase per pupil funding by almost 10% in 2014-15.
– $264 million for various early childhood programs but it does not include offering transitional kindergarten to all children in the state. These funds will help add 11,500 slots for preschool by June 2015 with more for the future, in addition to another $50 million in preschool grants, and increase reimbursement rates for early learning/child care providers amounting to $69 million.
-Higher education includes no tuition increases for CSU or UC but does increase UC and CSU funding by $142.2 million each and increases financial assistance for low-income students by 12 percent, to $1,648.
– Additional Potential Increases: If revenue hits certain targets, spending will increase for deferred payments to schools ($1 billion) and higher education ($50 million each for UC and CSU).
View the most recent edition of the state budget proposal here. The enacted budget will be available on the Governor’s website after he signs it.