Gov. Brown’s latest budget proposal adds $1.4 billion for schools

California’s public K-12 schools and community colleges could receive $74.6 billion in state funding for the 2017-18 school year, $1.1 billion more than previously projected, under Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal released Thursday.

The governor said higher-than-expected revenues from an improving economy would allow for more money for schools than he anticipated in his initial January budget proposal.

“Over the past four years, California has increased spending by billions of dollars for education, healthcare, childcare and other antipoverty programs. The increase is phenomenal,” Brown said during a Thursday press conference announcing his overall $183.4 billion budget proposal.

Two students work on classroom project
Two students at Tustin Memorial Academy work on classroom project.

The $74.6 billion spending for k-14 education would be an increase of $27.3 billion compared to six years ago, following the recession. That would amount to $4,053 more per student in state funds since 2011-12.

Brown is still projecting a $3.3 billion shortfall in revenues compared to last year, but it’s not as bad as the $5.8 billion he projected in January.

Thursday’s budget proposal includes $1.4 billion increase for Local Control Funding Formula, the system that gives districts more flexibility to decide how to spend state funds and provides them additional money to serve low-income students, English learners and foster youth.

The budget would also restore $500 million in child care funding slated for cuts in the January budget.

The governor’s budget proposal will now go before state lawmakers who could consider additional spending changes before it’s approved this summer. Brown cautioned that any added spending to the budget would require cuts from other programs or services.

“In the coming year, I don’t think even more spending will be possible,” Brown said. “The economic recovery is not going to last forever.”

For more coverage on the governor’s latest budget proposal, read EdSource, the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee.