CASTROVILLE, Calif. (KION)
UPDATE 5/12/2021 2 p.m. Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Elkhorn Elementary School in the Castroville area Wednesday as part of his California Comeback tour, and during the visit, he announced a $20 billion proposal for state school funding.
The proposed funding would be divided among several projects, but the first part of the spending he spoke about was expanding the state's transitional kindergarten program to allow access for all 4-year-olds by 2024.
In addition, Newsom announced the following as part of the proposal:
- $3 billion for community schools and wraparound services
- $4 billion for universal mental health screening and access to treatment for young people
- $5 billion to implement universal after school programs
- $3.3 billion for teacher preparedness, grants, residency programs and loans
- $1.1 billion to provide more counselors, teachers and support staff to reduce student-staff ratios
- $2.6 billion for accelerated learning through tutoring to address learning loss
In an effort to help children from low-income families get access to college and trade school, Newsom proposed opening 3.7 million child savings accounts for students from low-income families, English learners and foster youth. Each one would include $500, and an additional $500 would be added for homeless or foster youth.
“We’re doing more than just fully reopening for the upcoming school year, we’re proposing historic investments in public schools to create new opportunities for every student, especially for our neediest students, so that every child can thrive, regardless of their race or zip code,” said Governor Newsom. “To achieve this goal, we’re going big – targeting $20 billion of investments to transform our public schools, including the creation of universal Pre-K and the establishment of college savings accounts for 3.7 million disadvantaged kids for higher education pursuits or to start their own business.”
Newsom said there will be more education-related announcements, including more on the digital divide many students experience when it comes to access to technology, on Friday.
PREVIOUS STORY: Gov. Gavin Newsom is in Monterey County Wednesday, and he is expected to announce a proposal for state school funding.
Newsom's office said the proposal would provide for an unprecedented level of funding to support the social-emotional well-being of students and help schools provide more opportunities.
Earlier in the week, Newsom announced a $12 billion plan to tackle homelessness, relief to help with pandemic recovery and a $5.1 billion drought response and water infrastructure plan.
Newsom is expected to address the public at around 1 p.m.
This comes as Newsom faces a recall, and gubernatorial candidate John Cox shared a statement ahead of his anticipated announcement.
"No amount of funding matters when teachers and students aren’t in the classroom,” John Cox said. “Students across California are falling further behind every day. Instead of getting everyone back to school, Gavin Newsom makes political announcements about spending money. When it comes to education, he gets an F -- for failing our kids.”
Cox says he was the first candidate to push for a return to fully in-person learning.