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Smaller Classes, Teacher Raises are Focus of Extra Money Allocated to Valley Schools in Proposed State Budget

Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his budget plan for California Thursday.  It includes a $10 billion investment to California schools.  The proposed financial boost comes after years of education cuts and teacher layoffs.

The numbers are very early, but under the proposed budget blueprint, Clovis Unified will welcome roughly $15 million extra in the next school year.  School officials say the exact spending of those funds still need to be worked out, but there will be a focus on bringing back smaller classrooms.  That would mean more teachers will be hired.

At Fresno Unified, somewhere around $50 million will be added to the current operating budget of $635 million.  District officials spoke about a continued focus on early and career education, and the arts.  They also mentioned pay raises for teachers and extra class time for students.
Fresno Unified Chief Financial Operator Ruth Quinto says, "We are hoping that teachers will agree to implement at 40 schools over the next two years, an additional 30 minutes per day for every single student and then on top of that, additional professional development as well for teachers."

"It helps us get back the resources from which we cut years before and looking at what we can do now with additional dollars and moving up our funding levels within the school district," says Michael Johnston, Clovis Unified Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.

Both Clovis and Fresno Unified say they, too, plan to remain fiscally responsible with the money received

Governor Brown also mentioned the teacher's pension fund, which is currently more than $80 billion short, saying he hopes to address and fix that issue in the future.

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