Statement from California School Boards Association President Susan Markarian on Gov. Newsom's 2023–24 Budget Proposal
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2022) – We’re pleased that, despite plunging revenues, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2023–24 Budget Proposal continues the state’s previous commitments to TK-12 education in areas like learning recovery, extended school programs, universal school meals, special education and youth behavioral services, while including an 8.13 percent cost-of-living adjustment to the Local Control Funding Formula. Combined with an additional investment to implement transitional kindergarten, this budget contains important tools school districts and county offices of education can use to fund academic interventions, supplemental services and mental health supports to help students rebound from the pandemic.
Local boards of education and school staff have used the pandemic as an opportunity to transform systems, programs and services to better serve students, but more support is needed to fund the ongoing innovation at the local level that is critical to student success. So, it’s unfortunate that the Governor elected to cut the Arts, Music and Instructional Block Grant by $1.2 billion — or roughly a third of the previous grant — when the option of using the Proposition 98 reserve was available. At a time when school districts and county offices of education need funding and flexibility to adapt programs and services to the specific needs of their students and local communities, it’s difficult to learn that schools may lose this critical funding source after the budget development cycle has already started.
In addition, more action is required to address the staffing shortage and provide pension relief. At a time when 25 cents of every dollar received by local schools goes toward pension obligations, districts and county offices of education need more pension relief so their limited resources can be directed to the classroom and student services. Finally, we believe it’s time for both the state and the federal government to provide more robust support for schools to combat cyberattacks that put student and staff privacy at risk and compromise school operations. We’ve seen the threat through attacks in Los Angeles, San Diego and many other districts across the state. While we appreciate the $28.7 million in the budget for cybersecurity, greater funding is needed to specifically protect our schools and students and make progress against a problem of this magnitude.
CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.