Statement on California Budget Proposal
California State Director Susan Bonilla Responds to FY 19-20 State Budget
Statement on the California Budget from Susan Bonilla, California State Director of Council for a Strong America:
There is much to celebrate in this year’s budget. We are especially encouraged by the strong investments made in early childhood, which will go a long way to support California’s working families and their children. The ongoing funds for childcare, allocated under Prop 64’s Youth Fund, will help address the state’s child care crisis, which costs California an estimated $9.1 billion annually in lost earnings, productivity and tax revenues. Prioritizing full-day preschool slots and expanding eligibility to underprivileged communities will also help address the needs of working parents.
The $50 million allocated for the After School Education & Safety (ASES) program is also good news. It will ensure providers can continue to keep 400,000 California children engaged and off the streets, which in turn helps keep communities safe and provides necessary child care for working parents. However, there is still more work to be done to fund afterschool programs, as many ASES programs across the state will continue to struggle to keep their doors open due to the rising minimum wage.
Additionally, the budget establishes a coordinator position within the California Department of Education to oversee the state’s new Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan. This will ultimately ensure that all K-12 California students are learning important critical thinking skills needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce. Computer Science education is also supported by a one-time allocation of $10 million dollars for teacher professional development.
We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Newsom, his administration, and the legislature to ensure equitable opportunities exist for all of California’s children and families in the years to come.