Contact: Robin Swanson (916) 204-6890
Today California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger met with the Education Coalition to inform members that due to the irresponsible state budget passed only one month ago, which is falling billions short of projected revenues, schools will likely see another $2-4 billion or more in cuts when he calls the Legislature in for a special session on November 5th.
The Education Coalition position remains steadfast and clear: any further cuts to education in addition to the recent $3 billion slashed from this year’s budget would be a catastrophe for California’s students.
Already ranking 46th out of 50 states in the nation in per-pupil spending, California’s schools were forced this year to accept $500 million in cuts in the middle of the school year and $3 billion in additional cuts in the state budget.
These cuts directly impact students in the classroom, whether through eliminating class-size reduction and music, art and sports programs, laying off teachers, classified employees and other staff, or cutting off access to basic supplies (like copy paper) for instruction. Cuts also mean fewer bus routes to get students to and from school, significantly reduced custodial services, less adult supervision on campus, and even fewer school counselors and other support staff.
For the entire year of 2008, parents, teachers, board members, school employees and other educators held events across the state to highlight the devastating impact of budget cuts on California’s students. The Education Coalition asked leaders to stop making cuts to education and to provide a real budget solution with on-going revenues that didn’t rely on gimmicks.
The Education Coalition continues to urge our state’s leaders to provide stable and long-term funding for our schools so that students can meet the high expectations the state has set for them. To that end, further cuts are unacceptable.
As Dan Walters wrote in today’s Sacramento Bee: “The state finds itself – predictably – in another budget crunch.
The smoke-and-mirrors budget that the Legislature finally passed and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a month ago assumed revenue numbers that were out of date and clearly wrong, and the budget is now in complete disarray.”
It’s long overdue time for our state’s lawmakers to act responsibly and put forth a fair budget proposal that invests in California’s future and includes revenue increases to support our schools and students.
The Education Coalition represents more than 1.7 million parents, teachers, school board members, school employees and administrators.