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CFJ’s Funding Agenda Prioritized in Latest State Budget!

This past Friday, Governor Newsom released his plans for the 2022-23 May Budget Revision. This offers a sneak peak of what and how the state is likely to prioritize funding next year. Overall we’re pleased with Governor Newsom and state leaders for increasing investments in schools. This is the second year California has seen historic amounts of funding for our education system and leaders continue to take steps to center the voices of students and families in their decisions. 

Below is a breakdown of some of the key budget items we are the most excited about:

Community Engagement Initiative

CFJ is happy to see an additional $100 million investment in the Community Engagement Initiative. This funding is building off a previous campaign win led by CFJ and our allies from the Defend and Mend Coalition in 2018, which won a $13 million, 5 year investment. The goal of the initiative is to build effective community engagement throughout the state.

While this is a significant investment, to fully realize our vision to create racially just, relationship centered schools, we are advocating for at least $250 million to expand the models and practices learned from the previous years. With new and existing programs being rolled out throughout the state, it’s important to make sure we partner with students, families, and communities who have disproportionately felt the impacts of the pandemic. 

Community Schools

We also strongly support the additional $1.5 billion investment in community schools. Californians for Justice, along with our allies at the California Partnership for the Future of Learning, won $3 billion for the California Community Schools Partnership program last year, and see community schools key to advancing our Relationship Centered Schools work. As schools across CA begin receiving this funding, we must align the Community Engagement Initiative with the state’s community school model and other programs in CA.

Keeping An Eye On:

  • Local Control Funding Formula – 6.56% cost-of-living increase to LCFF, which supports our highest need schools and students.
  • Expanded Learning Opportunities Program – Additional $403 million for the program and want to see these opportunities expanded to include 7-12th grades.
  • Golden State Teacher Grant Program – $500 million investment to expand residency slots for teachers and counselors, along with allowing counselors, social workers, and psychologist candidates to be eligible for these grants. This should result in more counselors for our schools.
  • Educator Workforce Investment Grant – Additional $15 million is good news and will continue much-needed support for English Learners.

Californians for Justice is encouraged by the increased investment in the May revise and will continue to work with state leaders to make sure these investments leverage the expertise and wisdom of our students and families. Next up, the Legislature and Administration will work to pass a final state budget by June 30, 2022 so stay tuned for more updates this summer!

To learn more about our state advocacy efforts, email info@caljustice.org

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