Contact: Robin Swanson (916) 204-6890
Today, California’s Field Poll released more results showing that state lawmakers are out of sync with the majority of California voters, with 8 in 10 voters saying they are opposed to making further cuts to public schools to help reduce the state budget deficit.
Despite the voters’ desire to protect our students, state lawmakers have already subjected public schools to 60 percent of the statewide budget cuts, even though education funding only makes up 40 percent of the state budget.
It’s crystal clear that voters want to prioritize investing in California’s schools, particularly after more than $17 billion has been cut from education over the last two years. Voters also want our state’s leaders to keep their promises to our students – but currently, the Governor and lawmakers are considering reneging on the promise they made in July to restore $11.2 billion of the cuts, as required by law under Proposition 98.
In addition, yesterday’s Field Poll showed that an overwhelming majority of California voters (60 percent) rate education as a top issue as they are considering whom they will support in this year’s Governor’s race. Another recent poll from the PPIC showed that 82 percent of Californians oppose reductions in K-12 schools to fix the budget deficit.
Yet, the devastating cuts to our students have left California’s schools at the very bottom of all 50 states in staff-to-student ratios, and nearly last in the nation in per-pupil spending. School libraries have been virtually wiped out, while arts, music, sports, advanced placement and other essential programs have been eliminated from the curriculum. In addition, more than 23,000 teachers have received pink slips, along with nearly 10,000 school employees and 1,000 administrators.
California business leaders say the best way to improve our economy is to make sure we have a well-educated workforce and that cutting education funding hurts our students, our businesses and our economy.
It’s time for lawmakers to listen to the people who elected them, and stop making devastating cuts to our schools and students. It’s time to raise the revenues needed to invest in our state’s future.