Contact: Sandra Jackson at 916-801-4776 or Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769
“While we may be in the midst of uncertain economic times, what is certain is how the state’s adopted education cuts of more than $11 billion will play out in our schools, colleges and universities. Class sizes will increase, thousands of educators will be laid off, critical student programs will be eliminated, and qualified students will be turned away from a higher education. These cuts will impact an entire generation of children and escalate California’s race to the bottom in education funding.
“It’s good that a budget was passed, but let’s be clear, K-12 schools will be taking more than 50 percent of the adopted cuts. This is the largest single budget cut ever to public education in California. Our universities are also taking a 10 percent cut, forcing another hike in student fees, and making it difficult for many students to afford tuition. These cuts send the wrong message to our students, their parents, our communities, and our country. An investment in our children’s future now will make sure they prosper in the future.
“The compromise budget plan does correct the attempted unlawful manipulation of the minimum school funding law by placing an initiative on the special election ballot to repay the more than $9 billion owed to education over several years. The restoration of this money will be critical to the future of our public schools. Equally important, the plan also protects the state’s successful Class Size Reduction program from complete elimination, allowing local school districts to continue smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grade.
“This budget process has certainly been disappointing and frustrating for everyone. The need for reform is clear, but we commend the governor, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and particularly Senator Abel Maldonado for having the courage to support revenue increases. CTA will be reviewing all of the budget details and proposed initiatives for the May special election.”