Blog | July 16, 2021

Statement on the 2021-2022 California Budget

Our State Director and Members Share their Response to the Final 2021-2022 California State Budget

Shelly Masur Headshot

2020 was a year unlike any other in our Golden State and across the country. California’s child care system faced the brink of collapse while also serving as the backbone of the economy. K-12 schools became solely reliant on technology, while teachers proved to be the superheroes we always knew them to be, and societal and economic inequities became further centered.

California’s newly finalized 2021-2022 budget illustrates the historic growth and progress made on behalf of California’s children, youth, and working families.

Council for a Strong America’s California Office and our local members of ReadyNation, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, and Mission: Readiness, worked diligently with policy makers and partner organizations over the past year to advocate for budget allocations that improve our national security, public safety, and economy while positively impacting the wellbeing of children and youth. I am excited to share a (lengthy!) overview of our historic wins below!

Early Childhood Care & Education:

  • Child Care Access: Increases child care access, with 120,000 added subsidized child care slots in 2021-22, and with the total number of new spaces at 200,000 in 2025-2026.

  • Child Care Rate Reform: Provides historic rate reform that will help stabilize the child care system through pay increases for preschool and child care providers by implementing a reimbursement rate increase to the 75th percentile of the Regional Market Rate (RMR), along with additional one-time money to get providers to the 85th percentile for the next two years.

  • Family Fees: Waives family fees through 2021-2022, helping to make child care more accessible and affordable to families without the burden of a family fee assessment.

  • Pandemic Recovery for Child Care: Provides a variety of one-time investments to assist child care providers, including stipends; also provides $250 million in one-time investments in increasing child care facilities

  • Transitional Kindergarten: Adopts universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK) as part of a mixed-delivery system for early education, phasing in eligibility so all 4-year-olds will be eligible in 2025-26.

Peter Tsai

As a father and business leader, I am encouraged by the significant investments in education and believe they will help build a better future for California.

Peter Tsai, Vice President, Real Estate Development, The Sobrato Organization

Children’s Health & Nutrition:

  • School Meals Programs: Launches one of the nation’s first Universal School Meals Programs, with an increase in state meal reimbursements by $54 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year, and $650 million ongoing funding beginning in 2022-23. In addition, $15 million in ongoing funding for meals served in child care and early education programs.

  • Streamlining CalFresh: Simplifies access to the CalFresh program with additional funding that increases food access and food security to low-income Californians.

  • Medi-Cal: Allocates Proposition 56 Medi-Cal provider payments to support children’s health services and screenings, and improves health care affordability for families.

Expanded Learning Programs:

  • Afterschool and Summer Enrichment: Provides $1 billion ongoing and over $700 million one-time Proposition 98 funds, (growing to $5 billion by 2025) to provide new afterschool and summer enrichment programs for low-income elementary students.

  • ASES: Appropriates one-time federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for increasing the Afterschool Education & Safety (ASES) and 21st Century after school programs’ daily rates to $10.18 in fiscal years 2021–22 and 2022–23, only the second rate increase since the program was established in 2002.

Anne Marie Schubert

The California state budget ushers in landmark investments in early childhood programs and afterschool that support our children’s wellbeing and help build safer communities.

District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office

K-12 Education:

  • Local Control Funding Formula: Provides a 5.07 percent cost-of-living-adjustment for the Local Control Funding Formula, an over $3 billion ongoing increase in Proposition 98 funding in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

  • Mental health services in school: Invests over $4 billion dollars over five years to create a new, modern, and streamlined behavioral health system for youth ages 0 to 25, helping to address the shortage of mental health services for children and youth.

  • Community schools: Expands the California Community Schools Partnership Program with $3 billion in one-time Proposition 98 funding through 2028 that would allow up to 1,400 district and charter schools to transition to community schools.

  • College and Career Readiness: Provides over $500 million in one-time Proposition 98 funding for the A-G Completion Grant Program, which funds schools and districts for staff development, pupil supports, additional A-G access, high school learning loss, credit recovery, and covering AP fees for students.

  • Broadband: Appropriates $6 billion over a multi-year period for broadband infrastructure and improved access to broadband services throughout the state, including $3.5 billion for middle-mile infrastructure in unserved communities.

Rear Admiral Victorino G. Mercado

I applaud the budget investments in nutrition and student wellness as they will give more children the opportunity to grow up healthy and reach their full potential to serve our great nation

Rear Admiral Victorino G. Mercado, USN, Retired

Postsecondary Education:

  • Cal Grant Enrollment Expansion: Provides $155 million ongoing funds to end the age and time out of high school requirements for Community College students, which will expand aid to approximately 133,000 community college students in 2021-22.

  • Middle Class Scholarship: Provides an additional $515 million on top of existing $117 million beginning in 2022-23 to reboot the Middle Class Scholarship to expand to supplement non-tuition costs for Cal Grant students.

We thank the Governor and the California Legislature for these historic and transformative investments in children and families, and we must continue to work to ensure that these investments are stable and ongoing. Together, we can increase economic security for all families while supporting safer communities, healthier children, and a more productive economy.

Shelly Masur, MPH Council for a Strong America - California State Director

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