By Jose Cazares
A slowly recovering economy and a strong stock market have made it easier for the state to pay off some of its debt and direct more money back to education.
Governor Brown released a revised version of his proposed budget for 2014-2015 last Tuesday.
Brown announced an increase of $10,852,427 from last year’s budget. He proposed a total budget of $156,152,434 and set aside $12,877,279 for higher education.
In a letter addressed to California Senate and the Assembly, Brown said, “With a decade of intractable deficits behind us, California is poised to take advantage of the recovering economy and the tens of thousands of jobs now being created each month.”
The 2014‑15 budget continues California’s investment in schools by providing $10 billion this year to give students a better chance to succeed.
The Senate must review the proposed budget and come to a decision by June 15 and the Governor needs to sign by June 30.
Education and establishing a fiscally responsible budget are among Brown’s top priorities. Brown’s spending plan includes $1.6 million as emergency reserve. This is the first time the state will be able to deposit money in its emergency reserve since 2007.
The East Los Angeles College Budget Committee is not sure how ELAC will benefit from the state’s May Revise, since it has not been approved.
The budget committee considers a number of things to be a part of student success, including the number of students who graduate from ELAC.
Increasing the number of students that graduate is the college’s top priority.
Community colleges are of great value to the state of California and are the state’s most cost effective system of education.
Some of Brown’s critics believe the price tag on his plan is too high. In an article on the latimes.com, George Skelton said that there is a degree of hypocrisy, contradiction and denial in Brown’s plan. He suggested the governor is focusing too much on Obamacare and is neglecting issues like public transportation. Another recession can potentially lead to a huge loss of revenue.
Basic programs, including public education, have suffered budget cuts due to a budget that relies heavily on the stock market. Brown believes the state’s rainy day fund is the answer to this problem.