California: This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom is anticipated to unveil his proposed budget, which is expected to address the state’s projected $68 billion deficit. Many people are worried about potential spending cuts due to the significant fiscal deficit.
Troy Flint, a spokesman for the California School Boards Association, stated, “We knew there was going to be a deficit, but the magnitude of that deficit, I think, took everyone by surprise.”
The governor must release his 2024–2025 budget by Wednesday. CSBA is providing input on the possibilities for school funding that the Legislative Analyst’s Office detailed in its December fiscal outlook report, in advance of his recommendation and the upcoming months of budget deliberations at the State Capitol.
“They mentioned the possibility of cuts, but we appreciated that they also mentioned that there are other avenues, other ways, other areas that we can explore to try and make ends meet in the budget without direct cuts,” Flint commented.
According to the research, legislators should think about taking money out of the education reserve, which now has a balance of over $8 billion, and reducing program funding that hasn’t yet been given to schools.
Jesse Gabriel, a Democrat from Encino who chairs the Assembly Budget Committee, expressed confidence in lawmakers’ ability to create a budget that maintains money for classrooms.
Roger Niello, a Republican from Fair Oaks and vice-chair of the Senate budget committee hopes that will also be the case.
“I would hope there would be as little of an influence as possible on schooling. It needs to come from someplace because we do have a $68 billion deficit. We’ll see how the governor feels about those goals, but if it doesn’t come from some of the education budget, it would have to come from somewhere else, Niello said.
The fiscal year 2022–2023 accounts for almost $26 billion of the deficit, which the LAO referred to as an “unprecedented prior-year revenue shortfall.”
Due to tax filing extensions following significant winter storms, lawmakers did not have all of the tax money totaled when they created their budget last summer.
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