Contact: Robin Swanson (916) 204-6890
The budget deal passed today by state lawmakers includes deep cuts to education unlike any we have seen in our state’s history, to the tune of $11.6 billion dollars in cuts to K-12 public schools alone. There is no question that the consequences of these budget cuts will directly impact students in the classroom, devastating our state’s public schools and chronically shortchanging California’s 6.3 million schoolchildren.
In addition, California’s Community Colleges, which serve 73 percent of all students enrolled in California higher education, will be cut by more than $230 million.
With this budget package, California’s students, who already live in a state that ranks 47th in the nation in per-pupil spending, will be forced to endure an additional nearly $2,000 in per-pupil cuts. These massive cuts will give California the dubious ranking of “last in the nation” in spending per student.
To illustrate the magnitude of these cuts, $11.6 billion in slashed funds is equivalent to:
- $49,153 less per classroom, or
- $19.66 million less per district, or
- Laying off 165,714 teachers, or
- Laying off 290,000 custodians, food service workers, bus drivers and other classified employees, or
- Closing California’s schools for 40 days, or
- Swelling class sizes by up to 55%
Clearly, none of these cuts is acceptable in a state where we value our students’ education and our shared future. We invite lawmakers to visit schools in their districts to witness firsthand the impacts these cuts will have. It's more apparent than ever that we need long-term, permanent solutions to provide adequate funds for California’s schools. It is time to stop devaluing our children and start listening to the people of California, who have said, time and again, to put our students first.
That’s why the Education Coalition will continue to fight to restore the funding schools are owed under Prop. 98. We recognize that the budget plan includes a provision that will go on the May 19th ballot, which could pay back approximately $9 billion of the funds schools are owed.
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 website at www.protectourstudents.org.