State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Praises New State BudgetPosted on 06/25/2015
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement after Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2015-16 state budget:
"This state budget represents a significant step forward for education in California with a much-needed increase in funding for our schools, but it must also be noted, even with this, we still have not fully recovered from the devastating cuts made during the Great Recession.
"I thank the Governor for his leadership and commitment to education. Across the board, we are working to transform our schools and better prepare California students for careers and college in the 21st century.
"This budget makes important progress by boosting support for early learning, teacher training, and career technical education. By funding 7,000 additional preschool slots and 6,800 child care slots and increasing the pay rate for providers, this budget is attacking one of the root causes of the achievement gap—lack of early learning.
"By providing $500 million for teacher support and professional development, this budget helps improve the quality of classroom instruction. And by providing $400 million this coming year and $300 million the following year for career technical education, this budget helps engage students, keep them in school, and prepare them for today's workplace.
"We are on the right track. Classes are getting smaller and valuable programs in the arts, music, and sciences are returning to schools. Schools and students with the greatest needs are getting more support. We are implementing new more rigorous academic standards and assessing student progress with more accurate computer adaptive testing.
"However, we still have much more to do to modernize our schools, improve our education system, and ensure that all California students get the support and instruction they need to succeed."