As governors across the states begin first-quarter rollouts of budget proposals for fiscal 2021, some common themes are seen across budget proposals in some big states. Governors are seeking funding to support teacher pay raises, to balance funding across districts in order to address educational inequities and more money to provide access to preschool for more students.
The budget proposal for fiscal 2021 put forth by California Gov. Gavin Newsom includes $3.3 billion for school districts under Proposition 98, which requires a minimum percentage of the state budget to be spent on K-12 education. Per‑student funding would increase 1.4% in the $84 billion K-12 budget.
New York state would add $826 million to school aid, a 3% raise that brings the annual investment to $28.5 billion, under the proposed 2021 budget of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The proposed New York budget includes an additional $15 million investment in prekindergarten for three- and four-year old students to expand access in high-need districts. It includes $10 million to fund a fourth round of Empire State After School awards that would provide an additional 6,250 students with public after school care in high-need communities and districts with high rates of childhood homelessness.
The budget would commit an additional $6 million to create new early college high school programs that target communities with low graduation or college access rates and would align new efforts with in-demand industries such as technology, sports management and finance.
The $28.1 billion budget for fiscal 2021 proposed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp includes $11.3 billion for PreK-12 education and includes $356.9 million to increase salaries for certified teachers by $2,000 and to provide a $1,000 salary increase for non-certified personnel earning less than $40,000 per year, effective July 1, 2020.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 2021 $69.1 billion state budget recommendation is a 3.9% increase from the fiscal year 2020 budget and includes a school aid fund total of $15.9 billion, up 4.9%. The Governor’s plan would increase investments to economically disadvantaged students by $60 million, special education students by $60 million, and English language learners by $5 million. The budget also includes funding to enroll an additional 5,000 children in the Great Start Readiness preschool program, which currently serves 38,000 children statewide. The funding would target areas with the highest levels of academic need and add extra funding to the early literacy program.
For more information about policy and funding at the federal and state levels, see https://www.simbainformation.com/PreK-Policy-Budget-Outlook-13074418/.