Portantino Acclaims State Budget for Unprecedented Increase in Education Spending

Published : Thursday, June 15, 2017 | 3:41 PM

Chair of Budget Subcommittee on Education Senator Anthony J. Portantino said today the 2017-2018 California State Budget prioritizes public education, adding nearly $3 billion to fund education in California.

This unprecedented increase will raise per pupil spending to over $11,000 per year – the highest amount in California history.

On Thursday, the California Legislature voted on the final budget bill, which included a total of $74.5 billion for education.

As the Chair of Budget Subcommittee on Education, Portantino advocated for investments in various programs, and significant achievements were made.

“Education is and has been my number one priority. As Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Education, I have worked tirelessly all year to ensure we fund education at a level that helps our students succeed. This year, I am proud to announce that we are funding K-12 education at the highest level in the history of California. There is always more to do and I’m excited to be in a strong position to continue to improve the prospects of our valuable public schools and institutions,” said Senator Portantino.

Particularly, an increase of $1.36 billion was secured for the funding of the Local Control Funding Formula, (LCFF), which will bring the full LCFF funding to 97%. Full LCFF funding is ahead of schedule.

Another major victory is the $876.6 million in one-time discretionary funds, which will provide school districts, county offices of education and charters with additional $147 per ADA student. As opposed to the May Revision, these funds will be released in 2017-2018, providing immediate assistance to our schools.

In addition, county offices of education will receive an additional $7 million of ongoing funding related to the costs of Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) review and support.

Another budget success was making sure we have continuous and additional support for our pre-school and early education programs. The 2017-2018 budget adopted the three-year original plan, which increases pre-school slots and reimbursement rates. The budget also amends income eligibility rules to use the most recent state median income.

Senator Portantino is particularly excited to announce that as a result of robust negotiations, $50 million in ongoing funding was secured in the budget for After School Education and Safety Program (ASES). Senator Portantino has been a strong advocate to restore the initially proposed budget cuts for ASES programs, which along with the early childhood programs, were top priorities for the Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Senator Portantino is also proud to announce the addition of $10 million dollars in the budget to fund the History-Social Science curriculum framework rollout. This important allocation will be used for regional trainings and professional development available for teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals and the development of an online repository of resources available to support instruction. This curriculum framework includes updates for LGBT, Labor and Armenian Genocide education.

Significant achievements were made in higher education as well. The budget includes $25 million additional funding forCalifornia Community Colleges completion grant. And, the budget adopted strict accountability for the University of California Office of the President in the wake of the recent state audit.

Senator Portantino is also proud to announce that the budget includes $5 million for the Veterans Resource Centers in California Community Colleges, the biggest investment in this area until now. The budget also includes continuous funding for the Summer Institute for Emerging Leaders a unique academic partnership between University of California, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Another important priority for Senator Portantino was the implementation of Community College Competition Grant Program, which will provide eligible students with an additional award of $2,000 annually to help them cover the total cost of attendance to college, including transportation. Senator Portantino has joined Senate Pro Tem Kevin De León in authoring SB 539, a bill that establishes this Grant Program.

California State University System (CSU) will also receive additional $12.5 million to encourage graduation rates, and $20 million to increase enrollment.

Another important win was making sure that California students attending Private Non-Private Institutions continue to receive full Cal Grants. University of La Verne and the Claremont Colleges are six of eleven such schools in the 25th Senate District. Initially, the Governor had proposed cutting Cal Grants for these colleges and universities.

“Senator Portantino and I agree on the importance of funding public education and our district was strongly opposed to the January and May deferrals of significant K-12 dollars to 2019. We are very grateful that our Senator heard us and moved a significant amount of these important dollars to this fiscal year. It’s very important for the GUSD and other districts represented by Senator Portantino that he is in a position to work collaboratively with us toward continued funding progress in the coming years,” commented Nayiri Nahabedian, President of the Glendale Unified Board of Education.

The adopted budget also includes an increase to the state’s “rainy day fund” and an increase in important medical reimbursements and $ 3 million dollars for the Armenian American Museum in Glendale. The museum allocation was a direct response to Portantino’s budget request.


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