Contact: Robin Swanson (916) 204-6890
According to results released today from the PPIC Statewide Survey: “Most Californians (60%) say that of the four major areas of state spending, they would most like to protect K-12 public education from cuts.”
This comes at a time when Governor Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers are considering some of the most drastic cuts ever proposed to public education in California, and our state ranks 47th in the nation in per-pupil spending. In addition, the Governor has proposed an unlawful manipulation of Prop. 98, the voter-approved minimum school funding guarantee, that would shortchange students by an additional $7 billion year after year.
Of the $10.8 billion in additional Prop. 98 cuts proposed by the Governor, $9.7 billion will be cut from K-12 public schools. These cuts are the equivalent of:
- Shutting down every school across the state for 34 days.
- Increasing class sizes statewide by over 50%.
- Reducing per-student spending by more than $1,600.
- Laying off 240,000 bus drivers, janitors, food service workers, maintenance workers, and other education support professionals.
- Laying off 140,000 teachers.
- Cutting more than $41,000 per classroom.
- Cutting more than $16.4 million per school district (assuming 10,000 students in the school).
- Eliminating all music, art, sports and career technical education programs statewide, with room to make further cuts to other programs.
The PPIC poll also concludes that “more Californians say they would rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services than pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services.”
It’s time that our state’s elected leaders recognize what hard-working Californians clearly already know: these devastating cuts to public education are undermining our state’s future. The Governor and lawmakers have a responsibility to raise the revenues necessary to provide all students with the quality education they deserve.
The Education Coalition represents more than 2.5 million teachers, parents, administrators, school board members, school employees and other education advocates in California. For more information, please visit our web site at www.protectourstudents.org