Contact: Sandra Jackson at 916-325-1550
California teachers are concerned that lawmakers have not approved a 2007-08 state budget yet and that the lack of an agreement could mean cuts to public education.
“The 340,000 members of the California Teachers Association are strongly opposed to any cuts to our public schools and community colleges,” said CTA President David A. Sanchez. “We urge the Legislature to fully fund Proposition 98, restore the $364 million mistake by the Department of Finance, and to fully fund the cost-of-living adjustment of 4.53 percent for all education programs.”
Democratic leaders Tuesday told educators that Republican leadership wants to cut public education by $400 million. Earlier this year, the Governor called for fully funding a cost-of-living increase as well as money to meet increased enrollment demands for public schools and community colleges. Shortly after that, the “Getting Down To Facts” studies, commissioned by the Governor and Legislature, showed that California spends a third less than the rest of the nation on education and that if we are to help every student reach the state’s standards, we must increase school funding by at least 40 percent.
“Our students and schools have been making progress. Cutting education funding now would threaten the gains they have made and will cause chaos for local school districts,” said Sanchez. “Local schools are trying to get started for the new school year with some schools already in session. Cutting those local budgets now would directly impact students.”
CTA also urges lawmakers to reject the Governor’s efforts to reinstate funding for standardized testing in the second grade, which costs the state more than $2 million a year. The second-grade testing program ended on July 1. California now joins 41 other states that do not require second-grade testing.