Weekly roundup: A state budget deal, mindfulness in schools, campus reopening plans, and more

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers have reportedly reached agreement on a spending plan for 2020-21, one that’s expected to hold funding for K-12 schools and community colleges at their current levels.

That’s significant because the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged California deep into a recession, resulting in a $54 billion shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

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As EdSource reports, Newsom and the state Legislature came up with dueling budget proposals that both relied on an influx of federal dollars to close the gap. The big difference is the governor’s plan, released in May, would have imposed cuts to K-12 education if the extra funding didn’t materialize.

Newsom ultimately agreed to nix the cuts by relying on $12 billion in deferrals, using a mechanism that allows districts to spend money one year and receive revenue for it the next.

EdSource points out that deferrals, which were used during the Great Recession, can create cash-flow problems for some districts. But if California gets additional federal money, the state may only defer about $6 billion.

And here are some other stories we’ve been tracking this week:

  • In the wake of George Floyd’s death, school boards serving Irvine, Fullerton and Anaheim districts are considering resolutions that express support for the Black Lives Matter movement and call for greater equity, tolerance and cultural awareness.
  • Garden Grove Unified has announced a new partnership aimed at increasing access to mental health services for the district’s approximately 41,000 students, along with their families and employees.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.