Instead of $3 billion in more funding next year, budget officials from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration last week projected $18 billion less over two years for K-12 and community colleges, a historic decline of more than 20 percent in the constitutionally guaranteed level of funding. The governor was expected to release his revised state budget this week.
Financial data show the sudden impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the state’s economy. With millions of Californians out of work, forecasts call for a drop in sales and income tax receipts by more than 25 percent statewide next year. Combined with rising expenses, the reduced revenue would create a $54 billion budget deficit for 2019-20 and 2020-21, and the state’s general fund would dip to the level it was toward the end of the Great Recession in 2011-12.