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California budget continues to increase education spending as kids graduate from public school – Orange County Register

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Some of California’s record $308 billion budget spending appears to be an attempt to reduce the number of people fleeing the state. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, California lost 300,000 residents between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, the highest net exodus of residents in the nation. . , according to census data. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose will lose more than 120,000 residents in 2021 combined, according to the latest census indicators, making it the top five cities to lose residents after New York City and Chicago. I’m here.

“In the face of new challenges and uncertainties, we will continue to build the California Dream on a strong financial foundation, providing over $17 billion in relief to help families achieve their goals. We are doubling our investment to help,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a state spending plan he signed into law in June.

The stimulus package, marketed as “inflation relief,” is the largest item in the $17 billion portion of the budget. Payouts go to single adults up to $250,000 a year and married couples up to $500,000, costing taxpayers $9.5 billion. Another item of spending that has received less attention but is priced about the same is the $9 billion increase in basic student funds in California’s public school funding scheme, which is more than what school districts receive each year. Decide.

For a variety of reasons during the pandemic, statewide public school enrollments declined by 2.6% in the 2020-21 school year and by 1.8% in the 2021-22 school year. Data from Burbio, a school data site, showed that major metro school districts had a more severe decline. In Southern California, the Los Angeles Unified School District wasn’t the only one to lose many students. The San Diego Unified School District and Long Beach Unified School District each lost more than 3% of her student numbers last year. The Orange Unified School District and the Capistrano Unified School District performed well, losing less than 1% of his students. Overall, urban and suburban school districts lost 2.5% and 1.6% of their students, respectively, last year.

Fewer children are attending public schools, but state spending on education continues to rise. However, spending on higher education does not translate into better test scores for students. The California student saw only modest increases in her math and reading test scores as of 2019, even though the cost of her education has increased by 36% since 2002.

CalMatters reports: “Since California students began taking a new standardized test known as ‘Smarter Balanced,’ reading and math scores across the state have averaged about 1 percent per year over the past five years. ”

However, many education researchers are concerned that school closures and other learning disruptions during the pandemic could result in the loss of student achievements achieved over the past decade. California’s current combination of a declining population and rising education spending is a recipe for financial challenges in the years to come. With a potential recession looming and inflation continuing to rise, state leaders and school districts must prepare their budgets accordingly rather than continuing to spend.