Budget Plan Proposes Investment in Future Teachers

AUSTIN HERNANDEZ , SOPHIA HUA Copy Editor , Editor in Chief

At a press conference earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a nearly $1 billion state budget which would increase funding for California’s schools and invest in college students who hope to become teachers. Due to teacher shortages in many rural and low-income areas, Newsom is prioritizing the teacher workforce with this new proposal.

 According to EdSource, in order to incentivize more college students to pursue teaching crucial subjects at schools that require more attention, Newsom is proposing $20,000 stipends for these students. 

Stipends are fixed sums paid as either a salary or allowance. Under this proposal, the stipends would be a one-time allowance which would cover the cost of college and credentials for these students as long as they are willing to work in low-income areas that are in need of teachers. $100 million would be set aside for these stipends, potentially funding 5,000 new teachers. 

“Anything that would support and encourage new teachers to dedicate themselves to populations which don’t get the teachers they need is a great idea,” English teacher Nancy Padilla said. “However, stipends are limited because they are only temporary.”

 Newsom’s proposed budget also includes $900 million for staff development, $900 million more in funding for special education and development of community schools. Additionally, Newsom’s proposed education budget would increase the average spending per student by $496. Newsom wants to distribute more funds to districts with lower-income families, English learners, foster youth and students with disabilities. He would also support more programs that would benefit economically challenged families. 

Funding would also provide intervention and screening for preschoolers, potentially helping students with disorders such as dyslexia. 

“I think that students interested in joining the teaching field when they are older should really take working in lower-income areas into consideration,” junior Shay Phan said. “Opening themselves up to extremely helpful opportunities will help them reach their goals and push them to their full potential.” 

The budget proposal revision will come out in mid-May and must be acted on by State legislature by  the deadline on June 15 of this year.