California Teachers Union Challenges Newsom's Costly Budget Plan

 May 19, 2024

A dispute over California's educational budget has escalated sharply.

According to Washington Examiner, the California Teachers Association (CTA) is contending that Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent budget proposal while averting immediate cuts, imposes substantial future financial burdens and raises constitutional concerns.

Opposition Brews Over Funding Adjustments

At the heart of the controversy lies the strategy introduced by Governor Newsom, which prevents a direct $8.8 billion cut in the schools’ budgets. However, the CTA argues that this comes at a steep long-term cost of nearly $12 billion. These funds are planned to be distributed across future budgets from the fiscal year 2025-2026 onwards, which CTA president David Goldberg believes could severely threaten the sustainability of school funding.

This budget approach is a response to a miscalculation by Proposition 98, a funding formula that failed to anticipate a 25% shortfall in state tax revenues. Instead of addressing the deficit outright, the state chooses to acknowledge and spread this financial "error" over future years.

Karen Getman, a lawyer specializing in school funding, criticized the state's method. She stated it essentially ignores the looming fiscal crisis by dispersing the responsibility over the coming years.

Constitutional Challenges and Public Response

The CTA, spurred by what it perceives as a disregard for constitutional and fiscal responsibility, has begun a rigorous public campaign. This includes widespread advertising and signals a readiness for potential legal challenges to rectify what they see as a grave misstep by the administration.

David Goldberg, the CTA President, made it clear that legal action is on the table. He said, "We will not stand by and let this happen. When you have clear violations of the Constitution, often you go to legal remedies. So that is definitely one of the tools in our toolbox."

In defense of his budget proposal, Governor Newsom underscored the importance of avoiding immediate havoc within the educational framework. He said his strategy was aimed at preventing the flood of layoff notices and maintaining stability in schools.

Newsom’s Defense Amid Growing Concerns

While defending his approach, Governor Gavin Newsom emphasized the necessity to avert disruption within the educational system. “I don’t want to see thousands and thousands of pink slips go out. I don’t want to see disruption in the system,” Newsom explained, viewing his budget strategy as a lesser of two evils in a challenging fiscal environment.

This fiscal strategy has ignited a fierce debate about the best way to handle unexpected budget shortfalls and the appropriate measures to ensure the sustainability of public education funding in California.

The implications of this decision are set to begin affecting the state's financial strategies starting from the fiscal year 2025-2026, as the mistakenly allocated $8.8 billion is spread across future budgets. Stakeholders and observers alike are keenly watching how these unfold, potentially affecting not just the immediate fiscal year but shaping California's educational finance landscape for years to come.


As the debate rages on, the details of Governor Newsom’s budget plan continue to be dissected by educators, legal experts, and the public. The CTA is vigorously campaigning against this plan, stressing the long-term financial cost and its questionable constitutionality. They remain poised to take legal action if necessary, hoping to safeguard the financial future of California's schools.

The legal and financial ramifications of this budget proposal, along with the constitutional debates it has spurred, will undoubtedly continue to be a significant topic of discussion. How this will impact California's educational system and its fiscal health remains to be seen.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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