Every year, California’s governor and Legislature adopt a state budget that provides a framework and funding for critical public services and systems — from child care and health care to housing and transportation to colleges and K-12 schools.
But the state budget is about more than dollars and cents.
The budget expresses our values as well as our priorities for Californians and as a state. At its best, the budget should reflect our collective efforts to expand economic opportunities, promote well-being, and improve the lives of Californians who are denied the chance to share in our state’s wealth and who deserve the dignity and support to lead thriving lives.
“State budget choices have an impact on all Californians and these decisions are particularly important for the nearly 6 million students in California’s K-12 public schools.”
State budget choices have an impact on all Californians and these decisions are particularly important for the nearly 6 million students in California’s K-12 public schools. Because the state budget provides the majority of funding that K-12 public schools receive each year, it is critical for Californians to understand and participate in the annual budget process to ensure that state leaders are making the strategic choices needed to allow every K-12 student — from different races, backgrounds, and places — to thrive and share in our state’s economic and social life.
This guide sheds light on the state budget, the budget process, and why they matter for K-12 students and schools with the goal of giving Californians the tools needed to effectively engage decision makers and advocate for fair and just policy choices.
Support for this report was provided by the Sobrato Family Foundation and the Stuart Foundation.