Given that California’s economy is the strongest in the nation (and fifth largest in the world), the state’s budget is often viewed by the rest of the country as a model for innovative policies and initiatives. Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom submitted the 2020-2021 state budget proposal, which contains key implications for the human service sector and the work that our members are doing in communities across California.

The budget includes an increase of $4 billion allocated for K-12 education, with an emphasis on teacher recruitment and training, transforming special education, improving performance in the most high-need districts, and expanding community schools. Community schools, a model that relies on partnerships with community-based organizations, are of particular interest to education stakeholders in our network. Specifically, $300 million in the California state budget will go toward grants that enable local education agencies to implement programs such as:

  • Integrated and coordinated student wrap-around services including intensive health, mental health, and social services, as well as early screening and intervention for learning and other needs
  • Collaborative leadership and support for educators including professional development in student mental and behavioral health, trauma-informed care, social-emotional learning, restorative justice, and other key areas
  • Increased family and community engagement through activities including home visits and school climate surveys
  • Extended learning time and expanded learning opportunities

In addition to progressive initiatives in education, the budget contains innovative policy implications related to health, housing, criminal justice, and economic mobility. For example, California seeks to be the first state to create its own generic drug label to address the burden of rising prescription costs. Read EdSource’s full summary.

For more on what’s been happening in Washington this week, check our federal update.

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