CASH Alert: Governor Newsom Releases 2021-22 Proposed State Budget
This morning, January 8, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom presented his proposed 2021-22 State Budget. The $227 billion spending plan includes $164.5 billion in the state General Fund and $85.8 billion in Proposition 98. It includes a 3.84% COLA for K-12 schools and repays two-thirds of last year’s deferrals. The Governor notes that the state anticipates an additional $6.7 billion in federal support for schools.
School Facility Bond
The Budget continues to allocate $1.5 billion in Proposition 51 bond funds to support school construction projects, which is more than double the amount allocated in 2018-19.
Full-Day Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Facilities
The Budget includes $200 million (one-time General Fund) for school districts to construct and retrofit existing facilities to support TK and full-day kindergarten programs.
In-Person Instruction Grants
The Budget includes $2 billion in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund in grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) for the safe reopening of schools. The Governor asks that the Legislature take immediate action on this item to allow the program to begin in February 2021. The trailer bill language establishes two rounds, first for LEAs qualifying by February 1st and another for those qualifying by March 1st.
LEAs (except non-classroom based charters) providing in-person instruction, that are located in counties with a COVID-19 infection rate below 28 per 100,000 residents. The trailer bill language does not include a minimum amount or proportion of time that students must receive in-person instruction, so LEAs operating hybrid schedules could qualify.
To be submitted to the California Department of Education or county office of education:
- A written COVID-19 Prevention Program as required by the Cal-OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Standards, to be posted on LEA website by February 1st.
- A completed Department of Public Health COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist.
- For LEAs that collectively bargain: A ratified certified and classified collective bargaining agreement or MOU that supports implementation of the LEA’s COVID-19 Prevention Program, to be submitted to the county office of education by February 1st.
- Certification by February 1st to county office education that all students choosing to participate in distance learning have access to a computing device, software and high-speed internet access.
February 16th: First round grant recipients must provide optional in-person instruction to the following:
- Students with exceptional needs
- Foster youth
- Homeless children and youth
- Students without access to a computing device, software or high-speed internet access
- All students in grades K-2
March 15th: Provide optional in-person instruction to students in grades three through six.
- Recipients must continue to provide in-person instruction for remainder of the school year unless they are pre-empted by their local health authority.
Use of funds –
Funds may be used for any purpose that supports in-person instruction, including:
- Enhancing and expanding COVID-19 testing
- Purchasing personal protective equipment
- Improving ventilation and the safety of indoor or outdoor learning spaces
- Teacher or classified staff salaries for those providing and supporting in-person instruction
- Social and mental health support services provided in conjunction with in-person instruction
Grant amount –
For LEAs in round one, the base grant will be $450 per ADA (excluding ADA for students in full time traditional independent study). For those in round two, the base grant will be $337 per ADA.
The program also includes an adjustment to the base grant to provide additional funding for unduplicated students.
The Governor acknowledges California’s connectivity needs and challenges are immense. He indicates that California will meet these challenges with a coordinated state effort over the next five years to provide every Californian with a reliable and affordable connection. This requires collaboration between state, federal, and local governments, regional agencies, tribes, the private sector and the public. At this time, the budget appears not to include any proposals specific to enhancing broadband access or infrastructure for schools.
Indoor Air Quality
The In-Person Instruction Grants (above) specifically allow the funding to be used for, “improved ventilation and the safety of indoor and outdoor learning spaces.”
Extended Learning Time
The $4.6 billion for Extended Learning Time could be used by local educational agencies (LEAs) for summer school, intercession, before and after school programs, etc. to address learning loss. Extended in-person instruction time could intensify facility use and affect construction and modernization schedules.
Budget includes $8.5 million to expand construction apprenticeships and multi-craft pre-apprenticeship programs.