Read CTA's Policy Brief on Financing Public Education
CTA believes that students need and deserve smaller class sizes, up-to-date textbooks, computers, and a safe learning environment. Despite the funding approved in the state budget for 2016-17, California continues to lag behind the national average in per-pupil funding, has some of the largest class sizes in the country and ranks dead last in the number of counselors and librarians in our schools.
California's schools and students saw some relief with the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, with much needed moneys flowing to the state's public school system. With Prop. 30 originally set to expire in 2018, Californians passed Proposition 55 - the California Education and Health Care Protection Act - this past November. Passing Prop. 55 will extend taxes on the wealthiest Californians, preventing a staggering $4 billion budget deficit and severe cuts to public education.
As a result of Proposition 13 in 1978, more than 80 percent of school funding comes from the state. It is incumbent on the state to uphold the California Constitution, which says that public education has first call on state moneys. The state's budget crisis from the not-too-distant past made us all too aware of the pitfalls of our faulty tax structure, which is currently benefitting the wealthiest corporations over Californians themselves. It's time to restore fairness to our tax system.
In 1988, CTA led the fight for Proposition 98, which was approved by California voters and guarantees minimum funding to California public schools. CTA believes all public schools in the state should have adequate resources to assure all students a quality education that helps them reach the state’s academic standards and meets their individual needs.
CTA also believes that the state must provide assistance, rather than sanctions to those schools that have been labeled low- or under-performing based on state or federal assessments. These schools have the most crowded campuses and classrooms, have more students from low-income families, a higher number of uncredentialed teachers, and a larger number of students still learning to speak English.
State funding is also needed to support the community colleges and California State Universities, which have the responsibility of training California’s 21st century workforce.