Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324 or Frank Wells at 562-708-5425
BURLINGAME – The California Teachers Association’s “Cuts Hurt” bus tour stopped at public schools in Orange and San Diego counties today to show how students and pink-slipped teachers are already feeling the fallout from the governor’s proposed $4.8 billion in state budget education funding cuts.
“Everywhere we go, we are warning that the governor’s proposal to balance the state budget through cuts alone would be devastating to our students and the future of our state,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “Schools in San Diego and Orange counties are taking huge hits. And statewide, we have 14,000 teacher pink slips and 4,000 more for education support professionals and other school employees. Any approach to solving the budget crisis must also include increased revenues.”
In Orange County, six-grade teacher Lisa Paisley at Foothill Ranch Elementary in Saddleback Valley Unified reacted strongly to getting a layoff notice after 10 dedicated years in the classroom. “This isn’t just about my job, this is about my hopes for California’s educational system. How can Sacramento value the right to a free and public education system so little?”
Saddleback faces making $19.2 million in cuts due to the governor’s proposal and issued 250 layoff notices to educators. It joins many Orange County districts in issuing hundreds of pink slips due to having to make huge budget cuts. In San Diego County, the 42 school districts face cuts of $360 million and issued at least 2,000 teacher layoff notices by the March 15 legal deadline, according to the San Diego County Office of Education.
At a school in San Diego Unified – which issued some 900 educator layoff notices and faces $80 million in cuts – President Sanchez questioned why local Assembly Member Shirley Horton, R-Lemon Grove, favors yacht owners and oil companies over schools. “She refused to support two measures that would have generated more revenue for the state and for schools – the closure of tax loopholes for yacht owners and an oil severance tax,” Sanchez said. “We can’t talk about spending cuts without also talking about ways to increase revenues. Assembly Member Horton needs to listen to parents, teachers, and the community and put our students first.”
The six-week CTA “Cuts Hurt” bus tour of schools kicked off with stops in Inglewood and Rialto April 7 and stopped today in Orange County and San Diego. The tour continues with stops in Bakersfield and Fresno on April 23; Redding, Chico, May 5; the San Francisco Bay Area, May 14; and ends in Sacramento May 20. Follow the tour at www.cta.org.