Governor Brown Signs 2016-2017 State Budget

On the final day to act, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a $171-billion spending plan that will take effect on July 1st. Governor Brown approved the budget sent to him by lawmakers on June 15th, making no blue-pencil reductions to individual spending items.

Since January, CompTIA has supported and advocated for increased funding for K-12 and Higher Education as well as investing in instructional materials and technology to prepare both students and teachers for success.As industry leaders, we urged the state to invest in high-quality technology enhanced teaching and learning, along with providing access to the digital tools needed to solve problems and close the digital divide. We believe the educational system holds the key to preparing the next generation learner to thrive and succeed in the digital marketplace and world.

Below are highlights of major education investments the technology community advocated for which integrate technology into instruction. Attached is CompTIA’s budget request letter. A copy of the Full Budget Summary is available here.CompTIA's advocacy efforts proved to be successful in this year's signed budget. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like any additional information. Thank you!

K-12 Education
The Budget includes total funding of $88.3 billion ($51. Billion General Fund and $36.7 billion other funds) for all K-12 education programs. The Budget includes Proposition 98 funding of $71.9 billion 2016-17, an increase of $3.5 billion over the 2015-16 Budget Act level. When combined with increases of $1.5 billion in 2014-15 and 2015-16 as well as other one-time savings and adjustments in those years, the Budget provides a $5.9 billion increased investment in K-14 education.

  • K-12 Mandates – An increase of $1.3 billion one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to reimburse K-12 local educational agencies for the costs of state-mandated programs. These funds, combines with previous years’ investments, will substantially reduce outstanding mandate debt owed to schools, while providing school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools with discretionary resources to support critical investments at the local level. These funds can be used for activities such as deferred maintenance, professional development, induction for beginning teachers, instructional materials, technology, and the implementation of new educational standards.

Higher Education
The budget includes total funding of $30 billion ($17 billion General Fund and local property tax and $13billion other funds) for all higher education entities in 2016-17. The Budget funds several initiatives – at schools, community colleges, and the state’s universities – focused on college access, readiness, and success.

  • College Readiness Block Grant - $200 million Proposition 98 General Fund on a one-time basis to improve college readiness, allocated to local educational agencies based on the number of low-income students, English learners, and youth in foster care they serve in grades 9 through 12.
  • Community College Basic Skills Transformation - $30 million Proposition 98 General Fund on a one-time basis for additional grants through the Community Colleges Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation Program to support implementation of evidence-based practices at community colleges that improve students’ transition into college-level courses Beginning in 2017-18, $30 million Proposition 98 General Fund will be allocated as part of a revised Student Success for Basic Skills Student Program.
  • A-G Success Initiative - $4 million General Fund on a one-time basis to expand UC’s existing Scout program and provide free online classes and curriculum approved by the University to meet the “a-g” subject requirements – making college preparatory courses more accessible for students.

Use of Technology
The Budget provides funding to broaden access to, and reduce the costs of, high-quality higher education by better integrating technology into instruction. The Budget includes $5 million Proposition 98 General Fund to support the creation of zero-textbook-cost degrees, certificates, and credentials and articulates the expectation that community college districts make them available through an online clearinghouse of effective practices to encourage their adoption across all community college campuses. The Budget also includes $20 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund for CCCs to expand student access to online courses that can be counted towards their degrees, using the CCC online course exchange.

Support for Student Success
A steady growth in discretionary funding and targeted state initiatives has allowed each segment to focus on improving student outcomes. The Budget includes $200 million Proposition 98 General Fund to establish the Strong Workforce Program, which will enable community college districts to expand access to workforce-aligned and regionally coordinated career technical education courses and programs through the existing Career Technical Education Regional Consortium structure.

The Budget expands resources to support professionals at the colleges to improve student success. It provides an additional $10 million Proposition 98 General Fund for the CCC Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative at the community colleges and adds $1.1 million General Fund for a new CSU Student Success Network.

Finally, the Budget supports continued efforts to scale student success in a sustainable way. The Budget includes $25 million Proposition 98 General Fund on a one-time basis for the Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. These funds will provide resources to community colleges to partner with other educational entities to implement innovations in the design of curriculum and instruction, recognition of prior learning and experiences in the pathway to degrees and credentials, and access to financial aid – key elements in reducing costs and decreasing the time it takes students to earn their degrees and credentials.