PRESS RELEASE: With Governor Brown’s final budget signed, it is clear the next Governor is called to address the needs of our most vulnerable families and communities
Katie Smith, Director of Communications, #323.997.2194, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES, CA – Governor Jerry Brown signed his final budget for the state of California, providing historic investments for the 2020 Census, fully funding LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula) and providing additional resources for ECE (Early Care and Education) — but there is more work to do to close the gaps for low-income people of color and our highest needs families and communities.
Advancement Project California thanks Governor Jerry Brown for moving us forward.
$90 Million for 2020 Census for outreach to hard-to-count communities: This historic state investment in the 2020 Census is in direct response to the federal administration’s negative rhetoric against California’s diversity and the effort to depress participation in the 2020 Census by adding an untested citizenship question to the questionnaire form. Over 100 organizations from across California have successfully pushed policymakers to increase funding for community-based outreach and education for the 2020 Census from the $40 million originally proposed by Governor Brown in his January budget to the $90.3 million in the final budget. These funds will support outreach to the estimated minimum of 14.7 million residents belonging to one of more groups categorized as hard to count.
“The budget signals a crucial turning point in our preparation to tackle the challenges being handed down by the federal level,” stated John Dobard, Associate Director of Political Voice at Advancement Project California. “The well-being of every Californian is at stake and we are motivated by the groundswell of organizations joining the effort to push for the investments and policies required to produce the most accurate count possible.”
As for the broader budget, there is much more work to do to close the gaps in the budget to ensure there is success for all.
$850 million in ECE investments: This is a welcome increase for infant and toddler and preschool slots/spaces, inclusive Early Education Expansion Grant Program, increasing adjustment factors in provider rates, and professional development for dual language providers and facilities. However, our early learning system has historically been incredibly underfunded and we have still not recovered the ground lost to recession-era disinvestment. Our next Governor must work with community leaders to produce a holistic policy that ensures access to quality early care and education services that meets the needs of California’s multi-racial population, starting with our very youngest children.
“This budget leaves over 650,000 babies and toddlers behind and our babies and toddlers do not get a second chance. Ninety percent of brain development occurs before the age of five. We are committed to working with the next Governor to ensure that we prioritize early care and education in future California budgets,” states Karla Pleitez Howell, Director of Educational Equity.
LCFF is fully funded, but transparency is still needed: At $61 billion, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will be $573 million above “full funding,” in which every district is restored to pre-recession funding levels and districts have the opportunity to invest these funds where most needed.
“By fully funding LCFF two years ahead of schedule, this budget gets much-needed resources to our schools. However, major gaps in transparency mean that in many school districts, parents and advocates don’t know whether these dollars will benefit the high-need students that they’re meant to serve. We hope to work with the next Governor and legislature to build on the transparency provisions in this budget to ensure that LCFF lives up to its promise, ”states Michael Russo, Director of Equity in Public Funds.
About Advancement Project California
Advancement Project is a next generation, multiracial civil rights organization. In California, the organization champions the struggle for greater equity and opportunity for all, fostering upward mobility in communities most impacted by economic and racial injustice. Advancement Project California builds alliances and trust, uses data-driven policy solutions, creates innovative tools, and works alongside communities to ignite social transformation. For more information, visit www.advancementprojectca.org. On Twitter @AP_California.