Governor’s budget proposal targets shortfall, preserves education investments

Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his proposed budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year on Wednesday, outlining a number of measures to close a projected state budget shortfall of $37.8 billion. 

That gap is notably lower than the larger deficit previously forecasted by the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO). The governor attributed the difference to higher revenue projections and increased savings from state program efficiencies.

Still, to counter the shortfall, Newsom is proposing a mix of financial maneuvers, including withdrawing $13.1 billion from reserves, cutting back $8.5 billion in expenditures, borrowing $5.7 billion internally, delaying $5.1 billion in outlays, shifting $3.4 billion in funds and deferring $2.1 billion. 

Additionally, the budget proposes drawing $5.7 billion from a rainy day fund established through the Public School System Stabilization Act to ensure stability for school districts, charter schools and community colleges.

Newsom stressed that California’s commitment to education remains a priority. The 2024-25 spending plan maintains key investments in student support, including funding for community schools, universal school meals, expanded learning opportunities and the ongoing rollout of universal transitional kindergarten.

Steady funding for schools

The budget revises the Proposition 98 guarantee, reducing funding for K-14 education by about $11.3 billion over three years. Despite this, the total funding for K-12 schools and community colleges is expected to remain relatively steady, estimated at $109.1 billion for 2024-25, with an average per-pupil funding of $23,519. 

Along with pulling in $5.7 billion from the PSSSA stabilization account over two years, the budget would provide public schools with a modest cost-of-living adjustment of 0.76 percent for the Local Control Funding Formula, which is designed to provide more resources to students with greater needs, and other specified programs. 

The budget also addresses teacher preparation and professional development, acknowledging persistent staffing shortages in education. Proposals include removing barriers for qualified teacher candidates and providing existing teachers with essential training. Additionally, the governor emphasized a commitment to developing a state master plan for career education, including cross-agency collaboration for teacher apprenticeship programs.

Gov. Newsom’s 2024-25 budget proposal represents the initial step in a six-month fiscal planning process for the state. The January proposal typically undergoes revisions with updated economic data as part of the “May revise,” followed by legislative negotiations.

The California Legislature has until June 15 to finalize and pass the budget for the new fiscal year that starts July 1. School districts and county offices must adopt their yearly budgets by June 30.

Additional details on the January budget proposal can be found at