SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Today, Calif. Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) issued this statement following the passage of the 2016-2017 budget agreement: “Today’s budget agreement reflects the Legislature’s commitment to live within our means and provide Californians with access to high-quality public education. As a teacher during the recession, I witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts poor financial planning had on our classrooms. By growing California’s rainy day reserve to its highest level in recent history, we adopted a spending plan that protects students from the draconian cuts of the past and helps ensure our future economic stability.

Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell

As Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, my top priority is restoring California’s reputation as a global leader in education. This budget takes us a step closer by fostering greater access to preschool and child care services, dedicating new investments for career technical education, as well as allocating funds to increase enrollment at UC, CSU and community colleges.

The Long Beach College Promise serves as proof that when school districts and local higher education institutions work together, they can develop seamless transitions for students to graduate from high school and earn a college degree. I am proud to have secured $15 million in this year’s state budget to support incentive grants for the California College Promise. These grants will be used to bring the Long Beach College Promise statewide by ensuring schools have the resources to form similar partnerships that raise student achievement.

I want to thank my legislative colleagues and the Governor for working together to once again deliver a responsible, on-time budget for the people of California.”

Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island