FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SACRAMENTO – Members of the California Education Coalition – which consists of organizations representing more than a million parents, teachers, school board members, school employees and administrators – unveiled a new television ad that will begin airing today as part of their campaign to protect basic school funding in California.
The 30-second television spot, entitled “Body,” features parents highlighting the fact that Governor Schwarzenegger has broken his promise to California’s students and schools on two fronts, withholding $2 billion in this year's budget and proposing changes to the voter approved Proposition 98 – changes which would eliminate the minimum funding protections for schools and will only lead to more school closures, larger class sizes, additional layoffs of teachers and school support personnel, and the elimination of key student programs.
The ad will air statewide on television stations in California’s major media markets.
"Parents are truly frustrated that the Governor has broken his promise to the students and schools in California and is forcing us to fight to maintain the minimum level of funding that Proposition 98 guarantees,” said Jo Loss, vice president for education, California State PTA. “Parents expect the Governor to honor our children with adequate and stable education funding. Parents know that the current funding proposal will hurt our children and schools."
The ad features five parents expressing their discontent with the Governor breaking his word on education and explaining why other parents should also be upset. The parents explain that the two billion dollars Schwarzenegger borrowed and refuses to pay back could be used to reduce class sizes and keep quality teachers.
In the ad, third grade parent Maureen Williams notes that the Governor said “he’d never shortchange Prop. 98, which guarantees minimum funding to our schools,” after which second grade parent Deacon Tillman adds on that “Schwarzenegger said that would only happen, quote, ‘over my dead body.’”
The ad ends with second grade parent Renee Stewart declaring that the reform the Governor is always running around talking about “sounds a lot more like breaking his word on education.”