Napa County–Governor Gavin Newsom Friday signed a key component of his $123.9 billion Pre-K and K-12 education package that was developed through strong collaboration with the Legislature, providing an unprecedented level of school and student funding to transform the state’s public schools into gateways of equity and opportunity.
Governor Newsom’s plan supports the potential of every California student by achieving universal transitional kindergarten for four-year-olds by 2025, expanding afterschool and summer programs, providing universal free school nutrition, increasing the number of well-prepared staff per pupil, and creating full-service community schools to support the mental and social-emotional well-being of students.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in California’s future and expand opportunities for every child across the state,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re investing a historic $123.9 billion to reduce barriers and increase opportunities across the board as students return to the classroom, including through thousands of full-service community schools with wraparound services, support for educators working with the most vulnerable students and improved student-to-staff ratios. With these investments, we are creating an educational system that supports students from the moment they enter the classroom.”
Numerous studies have shown that children who attend preschool have enhanced brain development and improved learning outcomes as they begin their academic journeys. Under AB 130, signed by the Governor today, California will provide free, high-quality, inclusive pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds, beginning incrementally in 2022-23 and with full implementation anticipated by 2025-26.
“California is leveling the playing field by finally achieving universal pre-kindergarten. Regardless of their family’s income or immigration status, California’s children will have access to crucial high-quality instruction by age four,” said Governor Newsom. “We are reducing class sizes, supporting Pre-K educators and investing in more preschool facilities to ensure our students get off to a strong start.”
The Governor signed AB 130 today while visiting students and educators at Shearer Elementary, a school in the Napa Valley Unified School District serving diverse K-5 students. The school is offering a summer learning program with intensive academic instruction as well as enrichment activities, utilizing funding from the $6.6 billion package to support safe school reopenings the Governor signed in March. Eighty-eight percent of all the state’s school districts reporting are drawing on funding from the package to expand tutoring, mental health and other supports over the summer.
To help students reach their fullest potential, the legislation signed today invests:
- $3 billion to convert thousands of school sites into full-service community schools, with expanded learning time, family engagement and wraparound health, mental health and social services.
- $1.8 billion in ongoing funds for summer and after-school programs at all schools serving the highest concentrations of vulnerable students, growing to $5 billion by 2025.
- $2.9 billion to match well-prepared teachers with the most vulnerable students, including $500 million in grants for teachers who commit to high-need schools and $250 million to attract expert teachers to high-poverty schools.
- An ongoing increase of $1.1 billion to improve staff-to-student ratios at all schools serving the highest concentrations of vulnerable students, including up to five additional counselors, nurses, teachers or paraeducators at each school.
- $490 million to support the construction and renovation of state preschool, transitional kindergarten and kindergarten facilities, culminating in $2.7 billion in ongoing funds starting 2025-26 for universal Pre-K for all four-year-olds with the adult-to-student ratio cut in half (1:12).
- $650 million in ongoing funds by 2022-23 to support universal free school nutrition, including access to two free meals every day for all students, and $150 million to improve kitchen infrastructure and nutritional training.
- Over $1.5 billion in ongoing and one-time increases to special education funding, including $260 million for early intervention for preschool-aged children.
The legislation also ensures all schools return to offering full in-person instruction. As students return to full-time, in-person instruction in the upcoming school year, California’s schools have access to unprecedented resources to implement safety measures and expand programs to address the social-emotional and academic needs of students.