Contact: Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769 (cell) or Sandra Jackson, 916-325-1550
PACIFIC GROVE – With the new school year approaching and no state budget passed by the Legislature yet, today the California Teachers Association, State PTA and California School Boards Association took the lead in urging voters to call their legislators and tell them it’s time to put partisan politics aside and support the Conference Committee Budget Report to end the budget impasse.
“Time is running out for students and schools before the new school year begins,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA, at a Pacific Grove CTA conference of nearly 700 educators. “Our students and their education can’t afford to wait any longer for a budget. Our schools need the funding and resources to start the school year. Today is the beginning of a new push to urge lawmakers to pass the Conference Committee Report because it’s a balanced approach to the budget crisis.”
“There’s not enough cupcakes in this state for us to sell to close California’s $15.2 billion budget deficit,” said Jane Mitchel, a Monterey parent and past president of the 20th District PTA. “That’s why we’re asking our legislators to support a balanced plan that provides new and steady resources of revenue to help protect our public schools and community colleges from deeper cuts.”
“Our public schools have already experienced more than $500 million in unexpected budget cuts this year – forcing the layoff of teachers and education support professionals, as well as the elimination of art, music, and vocational education programs that help students learn and succeed,” said Chris Ungar, California School Boards Association Region 9 director and San Luis Coastal Unified School District board member. “These cuts come at a time when California already ranks 46th in per-pupil spending, and dead last in counselors, librarians and school nurses per student.”
The Conference Committee Budget Report proposal closes tax loopholes and increases revenues to protect public education and other vital services. School starts Aug. 4 in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, noted Jill Low, president of the Monterey Bay Teachers Association. “Our students need a fair state budget now. Our district has already made $9 million in cuts, ending all smaller classes in ninth grade and doing away with nine teaching positions. More delays will lead to more chaos.”
The Conference Committee budget solution restores $2.4 billion of the $4.3 billion in cuts contained in the governor’s May Revision, restoring funds for vital programs such as Class Size Reduction. In a major push for the plan, CTA is asking everyone who cares about the future of public schools to call their lawmakers Thursday, Statewide Education Call-In Day – using the toll-free CTA “Cuts Hurt” hotline of 1-888-268-4334 – and urge them to vote for the Conference Committee Budget Report.