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In This Moment (01/08): California’s Budget and Federal Stimulus

January 8, 2021

Today the Governor rolled out his proposed 2020-21 budget, which prioritizes proven approaches to education to keep young people supported on their path to college and career. Of particular importance is proposed funding for the Cradle-to-Career Data System and community schools.

In other news, the long anticipated federal stimulus funds are on the way. These additional Elementary and Secondary School Emergency fund resources will be allocated using a formula based upon each Local Educational Agencies’ (LEA) Title I funding for 2019-20.

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California State Budget

Governor Newsom’s proposed 2020-2021 January Budget includes investments that are critical for ensuring all students graduate college and career ready. The Budget includes:

  • a proposed $15 million ($3 million of which is one-time) for the Cradle-to-Career Data System
  • an increase of $2.5 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund dollars for community colleges to provide instructional materials for dual enrollment
  • an additional $264.9 million of one-time Proposition 98 General Fund dollars for community schools, which share many of the same features as Linked Learning, including integrated supports and services addressing students’ academic, personal, and social-emotional needs.

Please click here to see our full statement on today’s budget. In the weeks to come we will conduct further budget analysis and continue to share insights through our blog.

Federal Stimulus

The federal stimulus package passed by Congress at the end of 2020 contains $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency fund (ESSER), approximately $6.8 billion of which should go to K-12 schools in California. The ESSER stimulus requires at least 90% of funding to be distributed using a formula based upon each LEA’s Title I funding for 2019-20. Nationwide, an additional $7 billion will be made available for broadband infrastructure and $10 billion for child care and Head Start programs.

The allowable expenditures for this ESSER funding are fairly broad and allows spending on school facility repairs and improvements, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning projects to improve indoor air quality. Additionally, the bill allows for spending related to staff training on sanitizing and minimizing the spread of disease, purchasing sanitizing supplies, and improving overall response to the COVID-19 spread. The legislation emphasizes that the funds can help provide physically safe learning environments on campuses particularly for students with disabilities and at-risk youth.