Senator Sandra Cano, the Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, has introduced three bills aimed at bringing more equity to the state’s education funding formula. The bills cover a range of issues, including mental health services, English language learners, and site-based specialists for reading and math.
The first bill, 2023-S 0064, would provide state funding for school-based mental health services. This would allow local education agencies to receive direct state support for costs associated with hiring mental and behavioral health professionals for a period of three years. The bill aims to address students’ growing mental health concerns, particularly in light of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second bill, 2023-S 0067, would provide better support for English language learners through the state’s education funding formula. This would recognize and support students in becoming fluent in multiple languages, giving them a competitive advantage in the future. As someone bilingual, Senator Cano emphasized the importance of investing in multilingual education.
The last bill, 2023-S 0069, would allow local education agencies to receive state reimbursement for hiring site-based specialists for reading and math based on enrollment and specific guidelines. This aims to close the achievement gap for students, particularly those of color and in lower-performing urban districts.
Senator Cano emphasized the importance of these bills, stating that while the state’s education funding formula has brought stability, problems and issues still need to be addressed. The bills were referred to the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Education Committee for further consideration.
Read more about the legislation here.