Contact: Robin Swanson (916) 204-6890
As school districts across the state consider budgets for the coming school year and continue to deal with the fallout of $11.6 billion in statewide education funding cuts, many fear a crisis in our public schools if Prop 1B doesn’t pass on the May 19th ballot, and critical programs and services for students are eliminated, class sizes increase, and teachers, administrators and education support staff lose their jobs.
This week’s hearing in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance highlighted many school districts that are already in grave financial situations and could become financially insolvent without restoration of the cuts. The fact remains – without the benefit of a crystal ball, school districts must plan for the next school year and make painful cuts to programs for students.
Prop 1B restores $9 billion of the funding cuts to our students that are owed to schools under the state’s minimum school funding law. It sets out a schedule for repaying our schools, and corrects a manipulation of Prop 98 that shortchanges our students of billions that they are owed. Voters have affirmed their support for the minimum school funding guarantee under Prop 98 time and again, and continue to say that providing adequate funding for our schools is their top priority.
With California ranking nearly last in the nation in per-pupil funding, the Education Coalition has always remained committed to finding long-term solutions to the chronic underfunding of our public schools and addressing the needs of all students, and will continue to do so.
Below please find the most recent examples of the devastating layoffs and program cuts continuing to occur in California’s public schools:
5.8.09 - Santa Ynez Valley News – Solvang lays off 7 of 30 teachers
The Solvang Elementary School Board approved the layoff of seven of its 30 teachers Tuesday night, the final step in staff reductions that began with preliminary pink slips issued in March. The seven teachers taught kindergarten, first, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth grades, Allcock said. The layoffs mean that class sizes might increase in the higher grades to 23 or 25 students per class.
5.7.09 – Bakersfield Californian – Schools riding another declining budget wave
Rosedale Union School District planned two "tiers" of possible cuts. Now the deeper Tier II reduction options, including raising class sizes in grades K through 3, are more likely.
The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District will raise class sizes to an average of 26 next year, up from this year's average of 20.
Budget reductions also mean the district will suspend its Summer Music Conservatory, which served hundreds of young musicians in a typical summer, according to the district.
The Kern High School District projected a worst case, $40 million budget reduction. That's on top of the $22 million in cuts already identified as needed.
5.7.09 – Riverside Press Enterprise – Layoffs, budget cuts on Alvord school board’s agenda
An overflow crowd packed the Alvord Unified School District board meeting Tuesday with teachers wearing pink shirts to call attention to 155 layoff pink slips. The district still plans more staffing adjustments, including cutting the jobs of three middle school teachers, two counselors, two assistant principals, and paying the salaries of 2.5 other assistant principals from funds previously restricted for specific categories of students. The district also plans to cut an administrator in alternative education. Those staffing cuts total $900,000. Another $600,000 is expected to be cut from school maintenance, and the district expects to offset $1.7 million of special education costs with federal stimulus funds.
The Education Coalition represents more than 2.5 million teachers, parents, administrators, school board members, school employees and other education advocates in California. For more information, please visit our website at: www.protectourstudents.org.