FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sacramento - Members of the education and business communities have joined together today in a historic effort to address long-term solutions for improving school funding and the quality of education in California's public schools for all students.
The partners in this effort, including the California Teachers Association (CTA), the California Business Properties Association (CBPA), the California Correctional Peace Officer Association (CCPOA) and the Association for California School Administrators (ACSA), have agreed to a common set of principles that will guide an education agenda with concrete results.
"We are joining together to announce an historic new joint effort to address long-term solutions for improving the quality of education in California's public schools for all students," said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the CTA. "This effort was formed out of a common purpose to invest in California's schoolchildren today so that our state's economy and quality of life is secured well into the future. And with this new effort, we have decided that it's no longer necessary to pursue our campaign to place to the Tax Fairness Act on the June ballot."
"A cooperative, collaborative effort is the right way to pursue long term solutions for public education and we are happy to join with the California Teachers Association and others in pursuit of this important goal," said Rex Hime, president of the CBPA.
"There's no better crime prevention program than a good job that a quality education makes possible, so we're behind this effort a hundred percent," said Mike Jimenez, president of CCPOA. "Providing adequate funding for our schools will help end the budget debate that pits education against public safety. It's a win for everybody."
"An educated workforce is crucial to California's economic health, and businesses understand the importance of effective schools and a high-quality education for our public school students," said Dorothy Rothrock, senior vice president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. "That is why the business community has championed many education reform efforts over the years. We're convinced the best way to achieve meaningful reform and to ensure our students have the education and the tools they need to succeed is by having all interested parties at the table where we can openly discuss and consider reforms."
"Our united efforts to address equity and adequate school funding are critical to meeting the needs of all students in an increasingly competitive global market," added Henry Bietz, ACSA President.
Below are the group's general principles:
Funding Adequacy and Equity: We believe that ALL of California's students should have an opportunity to receive a high-quality education. In order to achieve high standards of learning, funding must be adequate and distributed in a way that provides all students the opportunity to do their best. Equity is equally important to ensure that funds are distributed to schools based on the needs of the students in those schools, not solely on the wealth of the school district.
Educator Development and Compensation: We believe that investing in our state's educators is a solid investment in our students. The quality of teaching is an important ingredient in good student learning. All educators should be given opportunities to learn new skills so that they may keep up with the ever-changing needs of students in an increasingly competitive global market. We also believe that in order to retain the best and the brightest teachers and entire education workforce, educators must earn competitive salaries.
Assistance to "Low Performing" Schools: We believe that those schools that have been labeled low or underperforming should be given assistance, rather than sanctions. Often, these schools face greater challenges such as a majority of students from low-income families or who need language assistance. We know that parental and community involvement is critical to the success of students and their schools. We will work to develop strategies that include all stakeholders in improving public schools.
Accountability in School Funding: We remain committed to ensuring that maximum education funding is directed to student learning and focused in the classroom. Students should see the direct results of improved school funding in the form of updated textbooks, classroom computers and other materials and resources.