The Blog

CTA Commends Governor for May Budget Revision, Providing Funding For Common Core Implementation

We commend Governor Jerry Brown today for keeping public education a priority in his May revision of the state budget. Allocating $1 billion to help local school districts implement the Common Core State Standards is great and welcome news for California’s students. The money is much needed to provide training, professional development, textbooks and materials. The transition to the Common Core Standards will dramatically impact how teachers teach. Educators must have the support and resources they need in order for the new standards to be implemented effectively.

CTA continues to support the goals of Gov. Brown’s proposed Local Control Funding Formula as we believe that every student is entitled to educational equality and appreciate the recognition that it costs more money to educate students width higher needs. We will review the proposed changes and will continue to work width the governor and legislators to ensure all concerns are addressed, including accountability, use of accurate data in determining funding levels and timing of implementation. We look forward to having many more discussions in the next few weeks as the state budget is finalized.

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Governor Scheduled to Release Updated Budget Proposal Tuesday Morning

Gov. Jerry Brown is slated to unveil his updated budget proposal – the May Revision – at a Capitol news conference beginning at 10AM on Tuesday, according to a media advisory from the governor’s press office.

The California Channel plans to webcast the news conference at www.calchannel.com.

The governor’s office said the budget documents will be available on line shortly after the news conference begins at www.ebudget.ca.gov.

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Governor's Local Control Funding Formula Impacts Students and Bargaining

We still have a lot of questions around the proposed new state funding formula for K-12 schools. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) as outlined in the governor's proposed 2013-14 state budget would dramatically change how schools are funded and by pushing resources to the local level, directly impacts local bargaining. Governor Brown recently released a detailed overview of the proposal and district funding breakdownsHearings have also started in the Legislature.

Under the LCFF districts would receive base-level funding and an additional 35% for each English learner, low-income student and foster youth. Another 35% per student is added to districts that have high concentrations of high-needs students. The plan consolidates most categorical programs to provide this additional and flexible funding for districts.

Under this proposal money for professional development would now be decided at the local level, rather than dedicated funding from the state. Currently under the plan, money for implementing the new Common Core State Standards would also be part of this new formula and decided at the local level. Educators must be prepared to have a say in those decisions. CTA is pushing the governor and the Legislature to allocate additional money for Common Core implementation.

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Educators throughout State Intensify Efforts to Pass Prop. 30, Stave off $6 Billion in New Cuts

(In photo above, from  r.) Backed by Gov. Jerry, faculty and college students in Chico on Monday afternoon, California Faculty Association Treasurer Susan Green (at lectern) urges voters to approve Proposition 30, the only measure on the November ballot that will protect K-12 public schools, the community colleges, and the state’s university systems.

(CHICO, Calif.) 29 October 2012 – With the election slightly more than a week away, educators, nurses, firefighters, and college students are redoubling their efforts to secure the passage of Proposition 30, the governor’s revenue measure to protect schools.

They are reminding voters Prop. 30 is the only measure on the November ballot that will protect schools against $6 billion in automatic or “trigger” cuts in the 2012-2013 state budget.  Without its passage, schools will be hit by cuts in addition to the $20 billion in cuts that have already harmed students.

In addition, Prop. 30 is the only measure that will prevent additional cuts to the community colleges and cuts and tuition increases at the state’s universities.

In the coming week, Proposition 30 supporters will be walking precincts, calling voters, and writing voters seeking their “yes” vote.

The supporters will be emphasizing that Proposition 30 will also provide future funding to schools, all of which will be allocated to schools in line width the constitutional guarantees for schools put into the state constitution by voters when they passed Proposition 98.

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School's Out for Spring? Voters' Rejection of Governor's Revenue Initiative Could Make It So

Two state budget trailer bills, measures that would help implement provisions of the state’s 2012-13 spending plan, contain items that should serve as a dire warning.

To cope width the $6.1 billion in school cuts that would come if voters reject a funding measure put on the November ballot by Gov. Jerry Brown and school supporters, lawmakers are giving local schools the power to cut their attendance days by 20 below what used to be California’s standard: 180 days.

Under provisions of Assembly and Senate versions of the enabling legislation – AB 1476 and SB 1016, respectively – local districts would be empowered to bargain for a school year as short as 160 days.

Students throughout the state could lose valuable instructional time should voters reject Gov. Brown’s revenue initiative.

To learn more about Gov. Brown’s revenue measure, the "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012," see Protect Schools and Public Safety.

To see Bee Sacramento Bee Reporter Kevin Yee’s take on the issue, read  California-budget-includes-harsher-school-year-trigger-cut.

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Sacramento Area Superintendents Detail Impacts of Cuts on Students

Six school superintendents from the Sacramento area joined Sacramento County Superintendent Dave Gordon and the Education Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council for an annual luncheon that gave school leaders an opportunity to spell out how cuts are harming students in their classrooms..

Superintendents from Galt, Folsom-Cordova, San Juan, and  Center Unified talked about cuts on the order of 25% of their operating  budgets, including additional cuts that will take place if voters reject Gov.  Jerry Brown’s pending tax initiative.

Folsom Cordova Unified School District Superintendent Debbie  Bettencourt Cordova  noted that her district had lost more than $35  million over past three years, resulting in  class size increases and  increase in the student to adult ratio.  “Our classrooms are cleaned only every three days.  These cuts have a tremendous impact on morale, but,  yes, we are still able to educate students,” she said.

Center Unified Superintendent Scott Loehr said that his  district has already lost more than $8 million, width higher student-teacher  ratios. “We can only provide less service and not do a lot of things we used to  do,” Loehr told participants.  “It is a morale killer. People are stepping up but they can only do so much.”

San Juan Unified School District Superintendent Glynn  Thompson ticked off cuts that, in addition to past cuts, are threatening to  reduce the district’s funding by another 10%, another $35 million in cuts, at a  time the district is facing “skyrocketing” poverty levels among families living  in the area.

Thompson stated that class sizes had swelled to 31 in the  elementary grades and that the district had eliminated home-to-school  transportation in all categories except those mandated by law. He also reported that the district had eliminated all adult  education classes.

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The cuts keep coming

California community colleges have been hit width an unexpected $149-million budget shortfall that will mean more class cuts, layoffs and possible elimination of summer programs.

Make sure everyone you know is aware that this crisis has not ended and our schools are barely hanging on. We desperately need stable funding now!

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Approved State Budget prevents additional layoffs

It’s not the state budget that we all hoped for and it is far from what our students need and deserve, but our hard work and organizing did make a difference as the Governor signed a budget that closed the state’s multi-billion dollar deficit while maintaining current funding for local school districts and preventing summer layoffs.

As part of the budget package, lawmakers approved AB 114, which for this year prevents school districts from issuing additional layoffs in August and essentially waives three-year reserve requirements. The law repeatedly states that each school district shall project the same level of revenue as it received in 2010-11 and shall maintain staffing and programs commensurate width that level. Some school district officials are crying foul, but let me be clear this law is designed to ensure stability for students and schools, avoid midyear cuts and prevent districts from gaming the system.

Funding public education and other essential services shouldn’t be partisan issues, but every Republican refused to extend the temporary taxes or even let votersd decide for themselves. I do want to thank the Governor and Democratic leaders for engaging in the work they were elected to do. The state’s existing tax structure benefits the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of the middle class. It’s also helped build the state’s structural budget deficit that Republicans are now using to starve public programs. For example, California is now funding public schools at $7,900 per student compared to New York at $15,000 per student. CTA is working width other labor unions and community groups to restore fairness and bring some common sense changes to the state’s tax system.

The approved budget also protects the integrity of the state minimum school funding law by requiring that any funding shortfalls must be restored and it fully funds CTA’s Quality Education Investment Act, which provides additional resources to lower-performing schools. Sadly, the budget makes more dramatic cuts to our colleges and universities. The CSU and UC systems each lost $650 million, sparking more tuition increases for students. CSU tuition has doubled in the last five years. Read more budget details on the CTA website

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