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CDF-CA 2020-21 Budget Proposal Statement

For Immediate Release:

January 10, 2020

Contact: Cadonna Dory, (323) 385-6342


Governor Newsom’s Budget Proposal Makes Much-Needed Investments in Education, Health and Juvenile Justice, but More Needs to Be Done to End Child Poverty

In response to Governor Newsom’s budget proposal released today, Children’s Defense Fund-California released the following:

Children’s Defense Fund-California has long-focused on ensuring that all children have the opportunity to thrive. In order for that to happen, investments need to be directed toward those who need it the most. We are pleased with the governor’s continued investment in community schools, Medi-Cal and transforming the juvenile justice system. With that said, poverty is a significant underlying cause of the poor outcomes and challenges facing California’s children, particularly children of color, and this budget proposal does not fully address the economic inequities across the state. “CDF-CA appreciates the governor working toward a stronger and healthier future,” Executive Director Shimica Gaskins said. “We believe that such a future can only be achieved by prioritizing the right investments.”

Executive Director Shimica Gaskins, on poverty:

“CDF-CA applauds the governor for continuing to support our most vulnerable families by increasing investments in the CalWORKs program. However, the budget fails to expand the California Earned Income Tax Credit to include children of ITIN filers. The CAL-EITC is meant to benefit poor working families so why is an estimated 600,000 income-eligible and their 200,000 children still excluded? As, the governor said, ‘It is not that complicated.’ All children deserve the opportunity to thrive. It’s 2020 and it’s time to do right by all poor children and families.”

Director of Education Equity Angelica Salazar, on education:

“School districts will receive critical relief to help pay down pension payments for retired educators. CDF-CA will work to ensure that, as a result, there is more funding available for student interventions to close persistent and harmful opportunity and achievement gaps among students of color, English Learners, and students with disabilities. Investments for students with disabilities and for the state’s lowest performing schools are also encouraging. We remain hopeful that the modest improvements to the Local Control Accountability Plan template will present more opportunities for districts to fully realize the promises of equity and transparency of the Local Control Funding Formula. It is also imperative to continue increasing California’s per pupil funding levels to ensure full funding for every student. The governor proposes an all-time high in per pupil funding for next school year. While this still falls behind states like New York and Connecticut, for example, California is steadily moving in the right direction.“

Senior Health Policy Associate Janis Lambert Connallon, on health:

“We applaud the governor’s plan to integrate services for children and families in schools. The proposed $300 million for community schools, which follows the Healthy Start model we have been supporting, will begin to level the playing field for all children. It will increase access to health and behavioral health care, screenings, basic needs supports, and other opportunities that ensure children are able to reach their full potential.”

Senior Youth Justice Policy Associate Dominique Nong, on youth justice:

“We applaud the governor’s continued commitment to adopting healing-centered and developmentally appropriate rehabilitative approaches for our justice-involved youth and young adults. We urge the governor and the legislature to ensure that investments in the Department of Youth and Community Restoration and the new Youth Offender Rehabilitative Communities truly align with research-based national best practices. In particular, we encourage re-examining the proposal to place campus-style environments within existing adult prisons.

We appreciate the support for successful reentry of youth into our communities through the CA Volunteers Partnership as well as investments in community-based violence interventions and indigent defense. We encourage the Governor and Legislature to continue to prioritize racial equity in allocations of Prop 64 revenues.”


Children’s Defense Fund-California is the California office of the Children’s Defense Fund, a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for over 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

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