Newsom Slashes $2 Billion From Education Budget

Newsom Slashes $2 Billion From Education Budget

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announces the state’s revised budget in Sacramento on May 10, 2024. (Office of California Gov. Gavin Newsom)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

5/16/2024

Updated: 5/20/2024

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While California is working on closing its $56 billion budget deficit over the next two years, Gov. Gavin Newsom said May 10 that K-12 schools and community colleges will be safeguarded from the budgetary impact.
However, cuts to education spending will amount to more than $2 billion, according to an update of the budget the governor put forward in January.
Mr. Newsom intends to tap into a significant portion of California’s $9 billion rainy day fund to address the $4.2 billion education deficit. This deficit arises from reduced funding mandated by Proposition 98, a voter-approved measure from the 1980s designed to allocate a portion of the state’s budget to its education system.
“I don’t want to see education cuts right now,” Mr. Newsom said during a news conference announcing the revised plan. “I want to see us preserve the progress we have made on community schools, on preschool, on after school for all, summer school for all. The work we’ve been doing ... [is] nation-leading in the education space, and I want to maintain that.”
In the revision, the average funding per student for K-12 education in 2024–25 would be $17,502, slightly less than the $17,653 proposed in January. However, Mr. Newsom noted that with additional funds from other sources, the final amount each student receives will be higher than initially projected in January.
According to the revision, the total funding for K-12 programs is calculated at $114 billion, marking a $15 billion decrease from the previous year.
The California Teachers Association—which represents approximately 310,000 teachers statewide—echoed the governor’s support for public education.
“As educators, we agree with Governor Newsom that we need to preserve the progress we’ve made in funding for public education,” the union’s President David B. Goldberg said in a statement. “Any cuts to education would have dire implications for our public schools, further exacerbating the inequities we see in our classrooms every day.”
While the overall educational budget was mostly preserved, a notable change involves a $375 million cut in expenses related to school facilities, including construction, modernization, and repairs.
Additionally, Mr. Newsom plans to slash teaching credential scholarships for middle-class students by $510 million. State libraries also saw a slight decrease in funding.

Hundreds of Millions Cut for Top Universities

Significant cuts also targeted California’s two largest college systems, the University of California (UC) and California State University (Cal State), contrary to the governor’s promised investment increase.
Cal State will not see any increase in funding for the upcoming year. Instead, it will receive a 2 percent increase for the subsequent year—which contrasts with the earlier commitment of a 10 percent increase as laid out in the January budget proposal.
“The California State University (CSU) recognizes that the governor’s May Revision seeks to address the state’s significant fiscal challenges,” said Chancellor Mildred García in a statement. “We acknowledge the governor’s commitment to the CSU but are deeply concerned about what the proposal means to our students and 23 universities.”
Additionally, the revised budget includes a $75 million reduction in funding for the university for the upcoming year.
“As the institution that educates the evolving workforce of California, this budget places us in a position of making difficult decisions,” Ms. García said.
Meanwhile, UC would see a $125 million funding cut next year, according to the revision.
The revision will now move into negotiations with the Legislature to be finalized by late June.
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Sophie Li

Sophie Li

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Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

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