Gov. Jerry Brown's latest budget plan proposes a $17 billion bump for California's K-12 schools over the next four years, a dramatic turn-around from the teacher layoffs and program cuts that became common during the recession.
He also wants to reshape the financial decision-making process by giving local districts more authority to spend state money as they choose.
The question now is whether all the additional money and the freedom to decide how to spend it is enough to restore the luster of California's once-renowned public schools.
The updated state budget Brown released this week would push per-pupil funding in California to an average of $8,475 for the remainder of the current school year. That figure is expected to rise significantly by the 2016 school year, to $9,929 per student.