SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget proposal will increase funding for schools and dedicate surplus tax revenue to raising curriculum standards and providing money withheld during the state's fiscal crisis, according to an official with knowledge of the proposal.
About $1 billion will be used to help schools meet the so-called common core standards for writing and math, the official said. The money could be used for, among other things, buying textbooks and testing materials or train teachers.
California is one of 45 states that have adopted the new standards, and education advocates have expressed concern that schools won't be ready to implement the changes on time.
The surplus will also help Brown to chip away at the "wall of debt," the official said. The state still owes more than $8 billion in payments to schools and community colleges, which were deferred during years of budget woes. It is the single largest chunk of the nearly $28 billion the state eventually needs to pay to schools, local governments and other programs, as well as to cover borrowing done to cover steep deficits.
The official familiar with the plan declined to be identified because the budget had not officially released. The governor is scheduled to conduct a news conference at the Capitol at 10 a.m.
California's finances have been boosted this year as tax revenue has exceeded the administration's expectations by about $4.5 billion. Because of the state's complicated education funding formulas, much of the money was expected to be dedicated to schools and community colleges.
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