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Voters send mixed message on budget ballot initiatives
By electing Jerry Brown governor and Tom Torlakson as the state’s top school official, and re-electing Barbara Boxer to the U.S. Senate, California’s voters showed strong support for our public schools, said an elated CTA President David A. Sanchez.
“Californians agreed today -- Jerry Brown is the governor we need to lead this state out of our fiscal crisis, bring collaboration back to Sacramento and help us improve our public schools,” Sanchez said. “Pulling together, California’s educators helped return some sanity to Sacramento. Teachers supported those candidates who see education reform as a collaboration and a conversation that includes educators. Across the state, voters have spoken, and what they said at the polls is that they support our public schools and want the best candidates who will advocate for our students, teachers and communities.”
Voters embraced Jerry Brown’s message that we all must work on healing the state’s financial wounds and other problems, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Californians with a vested interest in our common future.
“Voters rejected the divisiveness at the core of the Carly Fiorina campaign, and our schools will be better for it. Barbara Boxer is a leader who has fought to improve our neighborhood public schools, including support to expand after-school programs and enhance technology in our classrooms,” said Sanchez.
“Voters further supported schools by electing Assembly member Tom Torlakson as state superintendent of public instruction. As a former teacher, Torlakson will continue to be a true champion of public education. He supports proven education reforms and will make sure educators are an integral part of the conversation,” said Sanchez.
The teacher-backed team of state leaders elected to these critical offices will help repair the damage done to our schools and to our state. Our public schools have been cut by $17 billion over the last two years, and the new state budget finally signed in October will mean our students will be shortchanged another $4 billion.
To ease the budget process in California, “voters have wisely passed Proposition 25 to end the budget gridlock that has plagued California for far too long. It will end the budget uncertainty that has hung over every school year in recent memory,” said Sanchez.
Unfortunately, the defeat of Proposition 24 is certainly disappointing for our students and public schools. “These tax giveaways will mean more cuts to public education at a time when class sizes are increasing and vital student programs have been eliminated. We can only hope that the businesses that benefit from these tax breaks will do as they claimed and reinvest those dollars into new jobs and into our economy,” said Sanchez.
“We needed change in our state and that change was ushered in tonight. While I’m excited about Brown, Boxer and Torlakson, I can tell you the real winners tonight are the students in our schools and colleges,” added Sanchez.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association