Governor Signs California Budget That Boosts Technology Education Funding

Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a revised budget proposal sent to him by the California State Legislature that seeks to ensure a reasonable spending plan with sound investments to secure California’s future.

As part of the budget process, CompTIA supported budget items that will lead to more effective uses of technology to improve education outcomes of students in K-12 and higher education. These improvements will prepare students for success in a 21st Century digital-age workforce. 

The final budget was $115.4 billion, only $61 million above the Governor’s May Revise revenue estimates. Overall, this year’s budget was a win for improving education and incorporating technology into the learning process.  Prop 98 funding for K-12 and Community Colleges totaled $68.4 billion; $7.6 billion or $12.3% more than last year’s budget.  

Highlights from the 2015 budget, which await Governor Brown’s approval include: 

K-12 Technology Infrastructure

  • CompTIA advocated for a $50 million appropriation in one-time Proposition 98 funding in an effort to further support Internet connectivity and infrastructure. This funding is needed to support numerous schools that continue to lack adequate Internet infrastructure to support use of technology in the classroom.

Funding to Implement New Standards

  • CompTIA supported funding for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and revision of its English Language Development Standards (ELDS). This funding would address the critical need to support the implementation of these standards, especially in low-income schools. We urged support of a $1 billion investment for continued implementation of these standards, with an emphasis on professional development.  While we did not secure a line-item appropriation Governor Brown appropriated $3.3 billion toward these efforts with the state Legislature inserting language in the budget-trailer noting that it was their intent that school districts will prioritize the use of these one-time funds for professional development, instructional materials, technology infrastructure, and any other investments necessary to support implementation of the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, and the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. 

K-14 Career-Technical Education and Apprenticeship Program Funding

  • CompTIA recommend that the state place a high priority on supporting K-14 institutions in the creation of innovative CTE programs that align with industry needs and utilize technology tools to enhance teaching and learning.   CompTIA supported the Governor’s proposal for the CTE Incentive Grant Program to provide one-time Prop 98 funding in the amount of $400 million. 
  • CompTIA supported extending the sunset for the Career Technical Education Pathways Program which appropriates $48 million in one-time Proposition 98 funds. 
  • CompTIA supported $15 million for the new Innovation Apprenticeship Program and recommended including the use of technology when awarding these grants. 

Community College Redesign of Basic Skills

  • CompTIA advocated for $60 million in the Governor’s May Revise proposal to strengthen basic skills course offerings and recommend incorporating use of technology and innovative approaches to improving student outcomes.  
  • CompTIA advocated for $60 million in the Governor’s May Revise proposal to strengthen basic skills course offerings and recommend incorporating use of technology and innovative approaches to improving student outcomes.  

Revenue from temporary taxes from Proposition 30 has closed the K-12 spending gap between California and the national average by more than 60 percent.  However, while this was a banner year for K-14 funding, Prop 30 is scheduled to expire in 2016 which will reduce funding considerably.  At that point, K-12 and community college revenues are expected to flatten out, or in the case of a recession, decline. 

Governor Jerry Brown signed the budget deal on June 24, 2015.

For additional information, please contact Kara Bush at kbush@comptia.org.