Offering a brief glimpse of his new spending plan, Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he will propose a "live-within-our-means" budget on Thursday that spends more money on higher education and K-12 schools in the next fiscal year.
"We're proposing increases in education at the higher level and in K through 12," Brown said at a news conference in which he rejected court-driven mandates to further cut the prison population. "If people think it's a better investment to divert that money to prisons, they can try. But I'm going to fight it.'
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said in November that it expected California to boost spending on K-12 schools by $2 billion, or 3.7 percent, from $53.8 billion to $55.8 billion next fiscal year. Under current law, the state is also supposed to give each state university system a $125 million increase after passage of tax initiative Proposition 30.
The governor is expected to suggest that the additional K-12 money go toward reducing delayed payments to school districts, a form of borrowing via past accounting tricks. The governor gave a nod to that Tuesday, saying, "We've got to pay down the wall of debt."