Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Approves Historic Investments in Public Education

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D - Sacramento) and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance (Committee) today took final action towards completion of the 2017-18 Budget Act by making historic investments in early education, K-12 education and higher education that will help close California’s achievement gap, build a 21st century workforce and help more California students enroll in the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) and community college systems.

 

The Committee’s proposed budget includes $75 billion of Proposition 98 funding to K-12 schools, an additional $1.4 billion for school districts to further implement the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), a $100 million investment to address the state’s ongoing teacher shortage, $100 million for the state’s After School Education and Safety program and $10 million to assist school districts with high refugee student populations.

 

Additionally, the budget invests $60 million for an additional 5,334 child care and preschool slots, allocates $20 million to update outdated income eligibility requirements to help more California families access early education services and restores planned increases to child care and preschool programs agreed to in the 2016-17 budget.

 

The Committee’s proposed budget rejected Governor Brown’s planned elimination of the Middle Class Scholarship and instead increased Middle Class Scholarship award amounts to cover UC and CSU tuition increases. The Committee also advanced an additional $5 million for the UC and CSU to address student food insecurity and an additional $20 million to increase student access to mental health services on UC, CSU and Community College campuses.

 

For the first time in generations, this budget would also make the first year at any community college free for all Californians. A goal of students, parents and legislative leaders for years, this action, as part of the Degrees Not Debt budget plan, will bring California closer to making debt-free college a reality for millions of students. Additional higher education actions included agreement to increase Cal Grant award levels for non-profit private colleges and universities to $9,294 per student, increase the Cal Grant C award for vocational schools to $1,094 per student and provide $3 million to establish a matching grant program to encourage low income families to open a Scholarshare savings account.

 

“California’s investment in public education is not only the biggest part of the state’s budget, it is our biggest priority,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “No other public investment is as impactful as education. California’s successful child care and preschool programs help parents get to work, reduce poverty, closes the K-12 achievement gap and fights crime in our communities. Our historic investments in K-12 education will empower local school districts to make critical investments in the classroom. California’s globally recognized community college, CSU and UC systems will be able to serve more California students because of the Middle Class Scholarship and other investments in this year’s budget that will improve access and lay the groundwork towards helping millions of California students graduate from college debt free.”

 

The California Constitution requires the Legislature to approve the Budget Act by June 15, 2017.

 

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Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and unincorporated Sacramento County. McCarty serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.