- Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
- Mission: Readiness
- Champions for America's Future
- Shepherding the Next Generation
2021 California Legislative & Budget Wrap-Up
2021 proved to be a unique and unprecedented legislative and budget year in California. After tireless efforts from our policy makers, partner organizations, and members of ReadyNation, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, and Mission: Readiness, we witnessed historic investments for California’s children, youth, and working families. Many of our legislative priorities were included in the 2021-2022 budget that Governor Gavin Newsom signed in June. As a result, many of our priorities that originated as bills didn’t complete their legislative journey because they were included in the budget instead. These bills included child care provider reimbursement rate reform, school meals, and afterschool program funding. Overall, we are immensely optimistic for the historic investments and policy changes that will contribute to safer communities and a stronger economy in California, while positively impacting the well-being of children and youth. We are pleased to share the outcomes of the 2021 legislative and budget cycle below!
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION & CARE
BUDGET OUTCOMES: It was an historic year for the early care and education field, with significant investments for our youngest Californians. The budget increase strengthened child care access for all families through the addition of 120,000 new spaces in 2021, which will increase to an additional 200,000 spaces by 2025. A one-year waiver also granted families immediate relief of family fees for child care. Child care providers received a much-needed pay increase through a provider reimbursement rate bump. We also saw changes to simplify the child care provider reimbursement process. Finally, there was a momentous investment in universal transitional kindergarten, which will give all four-year-olds access to TK by 2025.
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
EXPANDED LEARNING PROGRAMS
BUDGET OUTCOMES: The budget package also included historic investments in expanded learning programs, including $1.8 billion with funding growing to $5 billion by 2025, to provide new afterschool and summer enrichment programs for low-income elementary students. Additional funds are allocated to the state-funded After School Education and Safety Program (or ASES) which will serve many more children and provide staff with better compensation.
BUDGET OUTCOMES: In the area of higher education, the budget expands Cal Grant Enrollments for the amount of $150 million to include an additional 133,000 community college students that will now be eligible for these grants. There is an additional $515 million going to the Middle Class Scholarship program to expand awards and make it possible for more students to pursue higher education debt-free.
Building stronger postsecondary pathways for our students sets the foundation for a stronger economy and future workforce where everyone in California can thrive.
JULIAN CAÑETE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CALIFORNIA HISPANIC CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
BUDGET OUTCOMES: The budget included transformative investments in full service community schools, coordinated mental health services, teacher recruitment and training, increasing access in A-G coursework, and an unprecedented level of K-12 school funding, including additional monies specifically for low-income, English learner and foster youth.
CHILDREN’S HEALTH & NUTRITION
BUDGET OUTCOMES: The budget package included a historic investment in school nutrition. A $54 million increase in state meal reimbursements in 2021, and $650 million in ongoing funding starting in 2022, helped launch California’s universal school meal program, ensuring free school meals for all K-12 students. Child care and early learning programs also received a $15 million increase in ongoing funding for meals. In addition, CalFresh received more funds to simplify its application process, which will help increase food access for many Californians.
While we thank the Governor and the California Legislature for these historic and transformative investments in children and families, we recognize the work ahead and commit to working alongside our membership for the stability of these investments over the long term. Together we can increase economic security for all families while supporting safer communities, healthier children, and a more productive economy.
Read More About