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California Must Step Up Support for Kids in State Budget amidst Federal Uncertainty

January 10, 2017


OAKLAND, Calif. — The Administration’s state budget proposal, released today, makes one thing clear: California must do more for kids. While we concur with the Administration’s assessment of major uncertainty around federal funding, the budget misses important opportunities to invest in kids, specifically in the areas of early childhood and Local Control Funding Formula implementation.

Children Now President Ted Lempert said in a statement:

“California must use any funding available to do right by our kids, especially low-income children and kids of color, to ensure the state’s successful future. California is the sixth largest economy in the world and our economic growth is dependent on a healthy and educated workforce. This budget proposal falls short of what’s needed in order for kids in our state to be successful.”

We commend the Governor’s commitment to the Affordable Care Act, Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented children ($280 million for 185,000 kids), and the use of new tobacco tax revenues to further support the health care system.

That said, the Administration punts on the commitment they made in last year’s state budget to increase reimbursements for early learning providers. They also have reneged on their promise last year to fund the addition of nearly 3,000 additional preschool spaces in this year’s budget. These investments are essential to children and families, and research clearly shows that early learning programs are some of the most cost effective investments that government can make in the future of our children.

Additionally, the budget misses the opportunity to fully fund the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula, which is essential to eliminating inequities and racial achievement gaps in our schools.

We hope that the Administration will take steps to do better by kids, and allocate additional resources to help guarantee their success in school and in life.

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About Children Now: Children Now is a nonpartisan umbrella research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children's health, education, and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a grassroots network of more than 1,850 business, education, parent, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more about us at www.childrennow.org.

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