SACRAMENTO, CA- Assembly Member Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) commends Governor Jerry Brown for presenting a budget that provides more funding for education and puts California on a path to long term fiscal stability. During a press conference today in Sacramento, highlighting revisions to his previous budget proposal, the Governor announced that the state is $4.5 billion above revenue estimates made in January and highlighted his plans to restructure the local school funding formula to benefit low income, English learners, and foster youth as well as implement the State's new Common Core Curriculum Standards.
Specifically, the Governor proposes to increase funding for the local control funding formula by an additional $240 million, for a total of $1.9 billion. He also plans to allocate $1 billion in one-time funds in 2013-14 to fund the Common Core Standards. These revenues would be available for professional development, instructional materials, and technology enhancements, which would be funded per pupil at roughly $170 per student, the Governor indicated.
“The inequities and disparities of the current system are well documented and should no longer be tolerated, said Assemblymember Weber, who was an educator for over 40 years. “We now have an historic opportunity to ensure all students have equal access to base funding and to invest in students of high need. The Governor’s Local Control Funding is a starting point to ensure that this is accomplished, but there are still some concerns that need to be worked out. There has to be accountability and transparency to ensure that dollars are allocated wisely. Furthermore, we need to ensure that this influx of dollars will focus on creating career pathways for our disadvantaged students so that they can obtain high wage jobs and in turn give back to our economy,” she said.
California recently joined a number of other states in adopting the Common Core State Standards, which establishes new criteria for what students should learn in school. It also joined a consortium of states to develop new tests based on those standards. California has already adopted the Common Core Standards in Math in the fall of 2010 and new English Language Development Standards in 2012. Governor Brown’s May Revise provides a $1 billion allocation to assist schools in implementing these standards.
“This year I am authoring AB 899, which is a bill intended to establish a process to align the English Language Development (ELD) standards to the new Common Core Math and New Generation Science Standards to help our nearly 1.4 million English Learners. I am glad that the Governor is making the Common Core Standards a priority. I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to ensure students in California and the nation are at the same academic level as students in other countries,” said Assemblymember Weber.
The revised budget proposal assumes $98.1 million in revenue and $96.4 million in expenditures and includes a $1.1 billion reserve. In the next couple of weeks, the Legislature and the Governor will work together to pass a responsible on time budget by June 15, 2013. Assemblymember Weber appreciates the Governor’s commitment to maintaining the fiscal stability that has come from an improving economy.