California Educators Meet With Lawmakers to Discuss School Funding, Class Size and Common Core Implementation Funding
More than 200 educators and CTA members met with their local lawmakers at the state Capitol Wednesday to discuss many issues related to the state budget — Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), class size reduction, funding to implement the Common Core State Standards, and the real need to pay back money that is owed to school districts after years of cuts totaling more than $20 billion.
In a press conference in Sacramento on May 22, CTA President Dean E. Vogel said CTA supports the goals of the LCFF as it addresses education funding on the basis of equity among all of California's students and provides equal funding for students most in need. Funding must be based on student enrollment, using quantifiable data that is consistently applied and publicly available. Districts must be held accountable for spending the money appropriately.
"Our association's State Budget Principles call for equitable funding for students most in need, a repayment of what our schools are owed, an annual cost-of-living adjustment for all schools while the formula is being implemented over a period of several years, and full funding for the state's K-3 Class Size Reduction Program. We will continue to advocate for those changes to the current proposal," said Vogel.
"After years of drastic cuts, it is necessary for the future of our children and the future of California that the state begins restoring money owed to students and public education," emphasized Vogel. "It's time our students had a chance to focus on learning instead of facing threats of larger class sizes, fewer classes to choose from, higher tuition, and fewer teachers in the classroom."
CTA's other concerns with the proposed LCFF include:
- Funding for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is of paramount importance to CTA.
- CTA supports the Class Size Reduction program for grades K-3 within the LCFF, but maintains K-3 class sizes should return to the ratio of 20 students to one teacher, as it was prior to 2007-08.
- The accountability plan must give some assurance that the supplemental dollars allocated to school districts are spent as intended, that LCFF funding is based on enrollment and distributed to local districts, and that quantifiable data is consistently applied.
- CTA supports keeping Adult Education, ROC/ROP, Home-to-School Transportation and the Targeted Instructional Improvement Program (TIIG) as stand-alone programs with their own dedicated source of funding.
CTA will continue to work with the Legislature and the governor to pass a state budget that supports all students, educators, schools and colleges.