Contact: Robin Swanson (916) 443-1486
SACRAMENTO – Today the Education Coalition sent a letter to Senator Huff opposing SB 955 and the policy changes recommended by the Governor as part of his budget proposal to cut K-12 education funding by an additional $2.4 billion.
The letter states:
“It is time to recognize that the fundamental issue confronting education is the catastrophic reduction in funding that is driving young teachers and school administrators out of the profession, increasing class sizes, eliminating vital services to children like school transportation and school libraries, and denying students access to summer school and intervention programs…
Until the budget crisis is resolved, we intend to remain focused on the central issue of opposing the Governor’s proposed budget cuts and will therefore oppose “reforms” that are actually linked to budget recommendations and imply improvements are being made when, in fact, the most fundamental services to children are being eliminated or dramatically reduced.”
The Education Coalition is fundamentally opposed to linking unrelated policy issues to the California state budget. Students have already been subjected to unprecedented cuts, and shouldn’t be left hanging in the balance while lawmakers debate policy issues that have nothing to do with the state budget.
Over the last two years, more than $17 billion has already been cut from education. California’s schools rank at the very bottom of all 50 states in staff-to-student ratios, and nearly last in the nation in per-pupil spending. In addition, libraries have been virtually wiped out, while arts, music, sports, advanced placement and other essential programs have been eliminated from the curriculum.
The Governor is now proposing to renege on his promise to restore $11.2 billion in funding to our schools and students, as required by law under the voter-approved minimum school funding guarantee. It’s time for our state’s leaders to stand by the promises they’ve made to California’s students.