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SAN JOSE, CA – Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools, responded to Governor Newsom’s signing of budget bills AB 130, AB 131, and AB 133 stating, “This is the largest ever state and Federal investment in students, families and schools and is an acknowledgement of the needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. These investments in tutoring, before- and after-school programs, early learning, and student mental health services, are much needed and will help our students learn and succeed.”
The significant one-time and ongoing increases included in this year’s budget are closely aligned with the legislative and budget priorities defined by the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the Joint Legislative Advisory Committee which is chaired by Santa Clara County Board of Education Vice President, Peter Ortiz.
Regarding the state’s historic investment in early learning and childcare, Dr. Dewan remarked that “The funding provided in the budget to expand transitional kindergarten will create a universal early learning option for all families, regardless of income. This is essential for Santa Clara’s families who struggle to afford childcare but do not qualify for state subsidies.” Dr. Dewan also expressed appreciation that childcare rate reform is included in the final budget deal, stating that “Increasing childcare and preschool rates has been a top priority of the Santa Clara County Office of Education for many years. Childcare providers made it possible for essential workers to keep us safe during the pandemic. We are happy to see the value of their work being recognized in the form of increased rates.”
In addition to investments in early learning, childcare, and K-12, the budget also includes $4.4 billion for student mental health. Dr. Dewan expressed her unwavering support and advocacy to expand school-based mental health resources, stating “The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative is an historic investment that will significantly expand the behavioral health services and supports available to Santa Clara students on school campuses. I am proud to have worked alongside my colleagues in supporting this Initiative and fighting for the resources schools need to help address California’s youth mental health crisis.”
She concluded, “The County Office of Education looks forward to partnering with our districts, local agencies, and childcare providers to implement these monumental state investments that will help our children thrive after a very difficult year.”
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.
For more information about the Santa Clara County Office of Education, please visit www.sccoe.org and follow us @SCCOE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.