Governor’s Budget Update: In-person instruction is the default mode of instruction in 2021-22.

Governor Newsom released his preliminary 21-22 budget, which assumes that in-person instruction is the default mode of instruction in 2021-22. 

We want parents to be aware of what’s in there because San Diego Unified has presented a misleading narrative in the media, while at the same time sending no information to parents about the Safe Schools for All initiative. 


  • $85.8 billion from Proposition 98  
  • This is $14.9 billion more than last year.
  • $18,000 is the PER PUPIL Expenditure from all revenue sources (versus $18,837 last year which was higher due to significant one-time federal relief funding)
  • $12,648 of that is the Prop 98 per pupil expenditure. This is an increase of $1994 PER STUDENT over last year’s $10,654.

It’s the highest level of funding for K-14 schools EVER.

So let’s just pause here and take this in. $18,000 Per student! Remember this figure when you hear San Diego Unified out there telling the media that California spends less per student than other states. Every state does school finance differentlyand often it isn’t an apples to apples comparison.

Reopening – Safe Schools for All

$450 – $700 (more need) per student for schools that continue/begin offering in-person instruction for the following students by the following dates:

  • Feb 16thfor ALL TK-2nd grade, ALL students with disabilities, ALL youth in foster care, ALL homeless youth and students lacking technology or high-speed Internet
  • March 15thALL 3rd-6th grade students
  • Pro-rated – If schools start later they don’t get as much
  • Schools that can’t open by these dates due to community conditions will be eligible for the full February grant amount if they open for in-person instruction once their rates of community spread sufficiently decline – new guidance expected at 28/100k case rate

We want to draw your attention to the last bullet. Districts and unions are messaging that the Safe Schools for All plan is unfair because schools in with high community spread would not be able to reopen and therefore will miss out on extra funding. The CDPH Guidance coming out will allow reopening when case counts are under 28/100,000. It is true that if districts delay opening when public health guidance allows then they will only receive a pro-rated portion of the funding— could this be the real reason that SDUSD is not supportive of the plan? 

Expanded Learning Time and Academic Intervention Grants

$4.6 billion for targeted interventions that focus on students from low-income families, English language learners, youth in foster care, and homeless youth. Such as:Such as:

  • Extended school year
  • Summer school
  • Community learning hubs. 

Federal Covid-19 Relief & Additional Funding

  • $6 billion Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) of which 90 percent would go directly to Title I schools
  • $400 million Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) 
  • $3.4 billion additional funding in non-Proposition 98 General Fund for K-14 education. 
  • $2.3 billion one-time payment “in recognition of the extraordinary needs of students and the public school system related to the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Average Daily Attendance (ADA)

No ADA hold harmless in 2021-22. However, districts with enrollment declines can base their funding on the higher of their 2019-20 or 2020-21 ADA 

Fiscal Accountability

It’s a known problem that districts allocate targeted funds to improve services but then leave them unspent so they can roll them into the general fund the next year to use for anything (usually salaries and benefits). This budget includes statutory language which says districts’ responsibility to increase and improve services continues until fulfilled. In other words, the money cannot be shifted to other non-targeted programs the following year.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

  • 10.4% to the base grant to support reducing class sizes in grades K-3
  • 2.6% for operating CTE programs in high schools. 
  • 20% supplemental grant for English learners, students from low-income families, and youth in foster care to reflect increased costs associated with educating those students. 
  • 22.5% additional to the base grant for LEA’s >55% students mentioned above. 
  • 3.84% compounded combined cost-of-living adjustment (because there wasn’t one this year)

Public School System Stabilization Account (Rainy Day Fund)

  • $747 million deposit for 2020-21
  • $2.2 billion deposit for 2021-22
  • The balance of $3 billion in 2021-22 triggers school district reserve caps beginning in 2022-23. 


  • Pays off the full 2019-20 K-12 deferral ($1.9 billion)
  • Pays down $7.3 of the $11 billion 2020-21 K
  • Leaves ongoing K-12 deferral balance of $3.7 billion in 2021-22 

California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Contribution

  • $820 million to buy down Districts’employer contribution rates CalSTRS 
  • $330 million to reduce the School’s Pool employer contribution in CalPERS 

Addressing Equity

Investing in Educators
  • Teachers, administrators and classified staff are “essential workers”
  • $315.3 million package for educator professional development
  • $225 million to improve the state’s teacher pipeline.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Budget requires local educational agencies to confirm that all high school seniors complete a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application beginning in the 2021-22 academic year. 

Special Education
  • $300 million for the Special Education Early Intervention Grant to increase the availability of evidence-based services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. 
  • $5 million to increase capacity to access federal Medi-Cal funds, and $250,000 for a lead county office of education to provide guidance for Medi-Cal billing. 
  • $500,000 for a study to examine certification and oversight of non-public school special education placements. 

Student Health and Wellbeing

  • $45 million to support existing community school programs. 
  • $264.9 million to enable local educational agencies to expand existing networks of community schools and establish new community schools
Student Mental Health 
  • $400 million to increase the number of students receiving preventive and early intervention behavioral health services from schools, providers in schools, or school-based health centers. 
  • $25 million to offer grants supporting suicide and drop-out prevention services, outreach to high-risk youth, and other strategies that respond to the mental health needs of students. 
  • $25 million to fund innovative partnerships with county behavioral health 
School Climate Surveys

$10 million for costs associated with conducting annual school climate surveys. 

Early Learning
  • $250 million to provide grants to local educational agencies that offer early access to TK
  • $50 million to support the preparation of TK teachers 
  • $100 million to construct new, or retrofit existing, facilities for full-day kindergarten programs. 
Cradle-to-Career Data System
  • $15 million, of which $3 million is one-time, to establish an office within the Government Operations Agency to provide support and resources for the acquisition, development, and maintenance of the system’s analytical tools, including data storage and querying functions
  • $3.8 million ongoing to support the California Career Guidance Initiative (CCGI) 
School Facilities

$1.5 billion Proposition 51 bond funds to support school construction projects 

  1. Local Property Tax Adjustments
    • Increase $54.1 million in 2020-21 result of decreased offsetting property tax revenues
    • Decrease of $1.2 billion in 2021-22 result of increased offsetting property taxes. 
  2. Cost-of-Living Adjustments
    • $85.7 million to reflect a 1.5-percent cost-of-living adjustment for categorical programs, including Special Education, Child Nutrition, State Preschool, Youth in Foster Care, Mandates Block Grant, Adults in Correctional Facilities Program, American Indian Education Centers, and the American Indian Early Childhood Education Program. 
  3. County Offices of Education
    • $10.2 million to reflect a 1.5-percent cost-of-living adjustment and ADA changes applicable to the LCFF. 
  4. Instructional Quality Commission
    • $206,000 for the Instructional Quality Commission to continue the development of model curriculum and frameworks. 

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