As a result of Proposition 13, more than 80% of school funding comes from the state. Having lost access to most local funding, it is incumbent on the state to uphold the California Constitution that says that public education has first call on state moneys. The state's current budget crisis has 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.
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. Too many California students attend schools that lack adequate facilities, resources and fully-qualified educators.
CTA believes that students need and deserve smaller class sizes, up-to-date textbooks, computers, and a safe learning environment. However, 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.
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.
Additional 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.