FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2021
UNITE-LA APPLAUDS THE CA LEGISLATURE ON PASSING A MONUMENTAL BUDGET THAT WILL PROVIDE RECORD SPENDING ON CA'S EDUCATION & WORKFORCE SYSTEMS
LOS ANGELES - UNITE-LA applauds the CA Legislature on passing a $262.6 billion budget that includes record spending on programs that will provide a path to equitable opportunities for all Californians. The revised 2021-22 budget, which now sits on Gov. Newsom's desk for signature or veto, is critical in bolstering California's economy and supporting our communities on the road to economic recovery.
"It has been a year of incredible challenges, especially for our unserved and underserved youth and their families. The pandemic highlighted injustices, including the immense digital divide, socioeconomic inequities for those without a college degree and deep, systemic racial disparities," stated David Rattray, President and CEO, UNITE-LA. "We are grateful the legislature recognizes the importance of a cradle-to-career approach in education in order to build a just, equitable future for all Californians. There is no time to waste. We need these investments in education now to ensure all of our youth have access to economic success."
Key cradle-to-career components UNITE-LA advocated for, which made it to the final budget, include:
- Historic investments in early childhood education, such as the expansion of Transitional Kindergarten; an additional 120,000 slots and about 80,000 more over the next four years; and increases to the amount the state pays child care providers;
- $3 billion, one-time Prop 98 investments to further expand the Community Schools Partnership Grant;
- $2.8 billion, one-time Proposition 98 funding for various teacher recruitment, retention and professional development programs;
- Elimination of the age and time out of high school eligibility requirement for Cal Grant that will help 130,000 more community college students;
- $27 million one-time, general fund investment in a statewide reentry program to provide workforce development training and support services to formerly incarcerated individuals;
- $1 billion for workforce development, including $500 million to California Student Aid Commission to support education grants for displaced workers seeking to attend a UC, a CSU or a California community college; $30 million to Breaking Barriers to Employment program; $500,000 over two years to establish the Learning-Aligned Employment Program; $75 million to expand the High Road Training Partnership program; Increases Strong Workforce funding by $42 million and includes budget bill language allowing the program to utilize work-based learning; and
- $6 billion for broadband infrastructure, over a multi-year period, and improved access to services throughout the state, including $3.75 billion for middle-mile infrastructure and $2 billion for last-mile projects.
This budget will help advance UNITE-LA's work to increase access to high-quality early care and education, further develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness through the intersection of programming, policy and systems change. We will also continue to advocate for the development of racially just and equitable policies, as recommended in our Principles for a New Economy.
The constitution requires a balanced spending plan to be in place by July 1 to start the new fiscal year.
Over the past 20 years, UNITE-LA has been a trusted business intermediary, dedicated to supporting the development of an effective local public education system, so that all children and youth succeed in college, career and beyond. Through the intersection of programming, policy, and systems change efforts, UNITE-LA works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education, develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness, especially for individuals with high barriers into the workforce. Visit www.unitela.com.