FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SACRAMENTO – Students and schools are the winners in the Governor’s revised budget. His decision to repay all the money owed to public education under the 2004 agreement is the news that California’s 6.2 million kids have been waiting for and settles the lawsuit the California Teachers Association filed against Governor Schwarzenegger last August. In addition, the revised budget includes an exciting opportunity to provide assistance, rather than sanctions, to our schools that need help the most.
“This is a good thing for our schools and community colleges throughout California,” said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association. “Having all the money owed to our schools under Proposition 98 and the governor’s agreement of 2004 restored to our students is the news we’ve been waiting for. It is especially good for those students who live in high-poverty areas and who do not speak English as a first language. Using some of the repayment money to improve learning and instruction in our schools of greatest need will help us close the achievement gap.”
Under the revised budget proposal and legal settlement, public schools will receive $5 billion due under Proposition 98. The dollars represent repayment of the money owed to education under the 2004 agreement with the education community and schools’ share of new state revenues. It includes $3 billion that will be paid over a seven year period and will be used to help schools that are serving low-income students and English language learners. Part of the money will also go to community colleges to expand career education programs and improve transfer rates to four-year colleges.
It has been a long time goal of the California Teachers Association to increase the resources to the schools of greatest need. The repayment dollars will be used to address the problems facing struggling California public schools including reducing class sizes, improving teacher and principal training, increasing parental involvement and providing school counselors.
“The repayment of the money owed under Prop. 98 moves us forward. However, we must recognize that these are one-time dollars. We must now build on this commitment. Teachers look forward to working with the administration and the legislature to determine how we provide adequate resources for our schools on a long-term basis,” said Kerr.