By Susan Frey
The Legislature on Monday passed a $117.5 billion budget for 2015-16 that includes $700 million more for schools and community colleges than Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed, as well as more funds for state universities, preschool and child care, after-school programs and foster youth.
Altogether, the budget allocates $69.1 billion for schools and community colleges. Following years of cuts during the recession, this budget would be the largest single-year increase that many districts have ever seen.
The budget relies on estimates from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) that the state will receive more than the $115.3 billion that the Department of Finance has predicted. Brown has proposed a budget based on the lower estimate and has said that he wants to make no further long-term commitments because of the state’s history of boom-and-bust cycles.