Contact: Sandra Jackson at cell 916-801-4776 or Bill Guy at cell 619-709-0028
SAN DIEGO – Over 1,100 California teachers and 10,000 educators, school nurses, counselors, librarians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other school employees from across the country sent a clear July 4th message to the governor today from the floor of the NEA Representative Assembly not to suspend Proposition 98—the minimum school funding law—and pass a fair state budget now.
“Enough is enough! Educators will not tolerate the governor’s attacks on Proposition 98, our schools and our students,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association. “The governor’s latest plan to suspend the minimum school funding law and to cut another $3 billion from public education when our schools have already been cut by $12 billion is enough.”
California was already 47th in per-pupil spending before the cuts. Now, due to the massive budget cuts to public education, summer school classes have been eliminated, class sizes have increased, art, music, physical education and career technical education programs have already disappeared. And 17,000 educators and thousands of other school workers have been laid off, and more layoffs are already underway.
Moreno Valley teacher Lizeth Piskulich learned while at the Representative Assembly that she was going to be laid off. This is the second notice for Piskulich, who was told last week that she was rehired. “As shocking and disappointing as this is for me and my family, 150 teachers have been laid off in my district, twenty-two of our counselors have been let go and all elementary and middle school summer school classes were cancelled. Sadly, students are the real victims here,” Piskulich said.
“Our kids and public schools are suffering. Instead of always cutting education, health care and other vital services first, the governor needs to repeal the corporate tax breaks he gave to big business earlier this year. He needs to tax oil production like every other state in the country,” Sanchez said.
The president of the largest state teachers union in the country also said it’s time for real budget reform in Sacramento, including getting rid of the two-thirds vote requirement for passing a state budget.
California teachers are marching from the San Diego Convention Center to the governor’s San Diego office Monday, July 6 at 9 a.m. to deliver the 10,000 postcards collected from educators on the floor of the Representative Assembly today.