Education

We believe California’s public schools are the engine of opportunity.

“When we invest in schools, we invest in our future.”
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson

California’s public education system drives our state’s economy and lifts children out of poverty. But budget cuts to K-12 schools and tuition increases at our public universities have whittled away at the California dream of equal opportunity. California Democrats are leading the drive to reinvest in our schools.

  • After years of budget cuts and teacher layoffs, California Democrats championed the passage of Proposition 30, which prevented $5 billion in cuts and restored schools’ fiscal health.
  • Democrats’ 2015 state budget added $3,000 annually per student and reinvested $6 billion in K-12 schools.  
  • Democratic Governor Pat Brown’s 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education made our community colleges, California State Universities, and University of California systems a model for the world.
  • We passed the Middle Class Scholarship in 2013, which slashed student fees at UC and CSU by up to 40% for families making under $100,000.
  • California Democrats’ 2015 budget increased spending for public higher education and held tuition flat for UC and CSU undergraduates through 2017.
  • We support reforms and resources to close the achievement gap, with specific emphasis on promising practices supporting English learners, students from generational poverty, and special populations.
  • We passed the School Success and Opportunity Act, ensuring transgender youth have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in schools across the state.
  • We believe early childhood education can help close the achievement gap and must be available and affordable to all interested students and families.

Dems Lead: Governor Jerry Brown led a historic reform of California’s school finance system in 2013 to target additional resources to English language learners, students with low economic status, and foster children. The Local Control Funding Formula embodies Democrats’ commitment to lift children out of poverty.