Contact: Sandra Jackson at 916-801-4776 or Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769
BURLINGAME – Giving billionaire Meg Whitman a civics lesson about censorship, the TV ad she did not want anyone to see because it exposes Whitman’s plan that could cut another $7 billion from public schools and colleges is back on the air across the state.
Whitman, who is spending $119 million of her own fortune on her campaign for governor, spent some of her funds having lawyers threaten television stations Tuesday if they kept airing the CTA ad. The Comcast cable system briefly pulled the ad, but is now airing it again after minor changes to make it even more obvious that teachers’ concerns are based on realistic projections about how Whitman’s goal to cut $15 billion from the state budget will mean billions more in new cuts to our decimated schools.
“California’s teachers stand behind the ad and call on Whitman to explain to teachers, parents and students how her plan can cut $15 billion from the state budget without impacting public education. So far, she’s provided no explanation or details,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “Let this be a math and civics lesson for Whitman. Teachers will not be silenced when it comes to protecting our students and communities from even more damaging school cuts. It’s time to stop the playground bully tactics and provide teachers and parents with the facts.”
Whitman should know that public education accounts for nearly half the state budget, and that in the last round of state budget reductions, public education took 53 percent of the cuts. In the past two years, public schools have suffered nearly $17 billion in cuts. As the CTA TV ad makes plain, Whitman’s reckless state budget plan assumes another $7 billion in proportional education cuts – equivalent to laying off 100,000 teachers or increasing already crammed classrooms by 33 percent. Watch the ad Whitman didn’t want you to see.
“Threatening more education cuts while also supporting tax breaks for the wealthy is wrong for California’s future,” Sanchez said of Whitman’s plans. “If Meg Whitman thinks she can make huge state budget cuts without hurting public school students, then show us the numbers.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.