Contact: Sandra Jackson at 916-325-1550 or Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
SACRAMENTO – David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association, issued this statement today about the governor’s brief State of the State speech and his ignoring of his proposals to cut billions of dollars more from public education:
“Teachers feel the governor’s speech deserves an ‘F’ grade for saying people want a good education for their children but ignoring his devastating proposed cuts to our public schools. Our public schools are the cornerstone of our democracy. The governor’s plan cuts an additional $10.8 billion from our K-14 schools over the next 18 months and redefines the state’s minimum school funding law, Proposition 98, to take $7 billion from education and never pay it back. That is a direct violation of the state’s constitutional guarantee. The proposal would also shorten the K-12 school year by five days and shut down the state’s program to help lower- performing schools. Higher education would be cut 10 percent, which would keep thousands from attending universities. These catastrophic cuts will create an education recession that will deny students the education they need to be successful.
“Last year, nearly 5,000 teachers were laid off. The governor’s budget plan means thousands more educator layoffs. Class sizes will soar and more and more music, art and career technical education programs will be cut. This is unacceptable.
“It’s high time for the governor and lawmakers to do their jobs and pass a state budget with new sources of revenue that protects our students and their futures. Instead, legislators are turning their backs on our neediest children. They are telling our many students who are already facing poverty at home that California now intends to impoverish their education as well.
“California already ranks 47th in the nation on what we spend per student, a new study shows, and is spending nearly $2,400 less per child in our schools than the national average. Our 6.3 million students, our schools and our state deserve better. These cuts have to stop or we will be leaving a scar on an entire generation of California’s children.”
For information on how last year’s budget cuts are hurting our schools, and to read teachers’ stories about real school cuts across the state, go to www.cta.org.