Friday, July 1, 2022

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The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

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SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Governor’s Budget Includes Highest Education Funding in CA History

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022   

K-12 and higher education would get $102 billion next fiscal year as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom's new budget proposal, released Monday -- the most in state history -- thanks to a projected 45-billion-dollar surplus.

Education advocates say they are glad the budget would put $200 million toward health care for part-time lecturers, who make up 75% of the teaching staff at community colleges.

Jeff Freitas, president of CFT, a union of educators and classified professionals, explained how it would help.

"We want to be able to have individuals that work in multiple districts be able to combine that effort to be able to pay for that health care," Freitas stated.

The governor has also proposed $2.7 billion in extra funding to confront COVID-19, so advocates want some of it to be spent on getting more rapid tests and high-quality masks into schools. And the budget includes a 5% cost-of-living increase for educators, one of the highest-ever, which could improve a staffing crisis in schools.

Freitas pointed out the state loses about 27,000 teachers a year but only about 21,000 new teachers enter the profession annually to replace them.

"Pay is a factor," Freitas acknowledged. "But there are also other factors that weigh into this: class size, responsibility, respect, time to do the job. All of these together are what we need to be focusing on."

The budget proposal also includes funding to offer pre-K classes to all four-year-olds, and it increases the available slots in state-funded preschool and child-care centers.

Disclosure: California Federation of Teachers contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Early Childhood Education, Education, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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