CA Gov. Gavin Newsom unveils package bolstering public education

Photo of elementary school classroom
Liz Marie/Creative Commons
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $20 billion package in support of K-12 public schools Wednesday. ( Liz Marie under CC BY-SA 2.0.)

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Following a series of announcements regarding the California Comeback Plan, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $20 billion package in support of K-12 public schools Wednesday.

The plan, which is the largest investment in state school funding in the state’s history, aims to create universal pre-K programs by 2024, according to a press release from Newsom’s office. It also includes funds directed toward creating college savings accounts for nearly 4 million low-income children in public schools, the press release added.

“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,” Newsom said in the press release.

The savings accounts will include a $500 base deposit for low-income students, foster youth and English learners, with an additional $500 for unhoused and foster youth.

Investments in public schools will finance before and after-school instruction, tutoring programs and preventative behavioral health services for all students. The package will also create full-service community schools with “wraparound mental health, social and family services,” the press release added.

“California kids and young adults need new investments and supports to make up for the burdens they faced over the past year – and even before the pandemic,” said Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services secretary, in the press release.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the package will provide more than $8 billion aimed at giving schools resources needed to reopen safely, according to the press release.

In addition to funding programs at public schools across the state, Newsom previously announced packages to support water infrastructure and combat homelessness as part of the California Comeback Plan. The plan also includes direct payments for low and middle-income families.

Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.