Contact: Claudia Briggs 916-325-1550
More Transparency and Caps on District Reserves Will Channel Additional Dollars into Classrooms
SACRAMENTO – The California Teachers Association and its 325,000 members are encouraged by the 2014-2015 budget that lawmakers approved Sunday. The spending plan increases per-pupil funding, places new transparency and accountability regulations on local district reserves, and sets in motion a 32-year plan to strengthen the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) where districts, the state, and employees will collaboratively bear the costs of funding the retirement system’s unfunded liability.
“Our students and our schools will benefit greatly from the new spending plan,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “It continues the process of restoring funding to schools that were devastated by more than $20 billion in cuts in recent years. It will help our schools attract and retain our highly qualified educators by shoring up CalSTRS and keeping the promise made to our dedicated school staff that they will have a secure retirement after a lifetime of devoted service to our students.”
The trailer bill will channel more dollars to the classroom by capping the amounts districts are able to hold back in budget reserves when the state’s own education rainy day fund—the Proposition 98 reserve—provisions are triggered.
“Our children have endured years of devastating budget cuts, and Californians overwhelmingly voted to pass Proposition 30 to keep the cuts from happening. It is unacceptable for districts to sit on up to 30 percent budget reserves when California ranks 50th in per pupil expenditures nationwide,” Vogel said. “Transparency is in order and the time is now.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education