The following statement was released by Common Sense Founder and CEO James Steyer today in reaction to the release of Governor Jerry Brown’s revised 2015-16 state budget.
“The Governor’s revised budget is very good news for California’s kids and schools. The state is paying back years of old debt to schools, and offering billions of additional dollars for public schools and community colleges. We applaud Governor Brown for recognizing that California must continue to take steps to ensure that kids and education are a critical focus and top priority in our state budget.
“We strongly support the Governor’s proposal to direct $3.5 billion in discretionary funds to schools so they can make critical investments in teacher professional development, purchase updated instructional materials, and upgrade technology for the implementation of our state's academic standards. We also support the proposed new investments in career pathways and workforce development that will greatly benefit our children and our state.
“Legislative leaders, including Speaker Toni Atkins and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, have proposed additional ideas to fund essential early childhood development programs. As the final stage of these budget negotiations get under way, we encourage the governor and legislative leaders to continue to look for ways to make younger kids a priority in their spending decisions. We are especially pleased that the governor and legislators are seeking to create a California Earned Income Tax Credit that will greatly benefit our children and our state.
The last several years have been very tough for Californians, and particularly for our children and families, but we’ve turned a corner. Now is the time to make strategic investments in our future, which means our kids – and everything that impacts their development. From teacher training and wiring classrooms to full-day, full-year quality preschool opportunities for all low-income 4-year-olds, this is our opportunity to return California to being one of the strongest economies in the world by investing in our future – our kids.”