Contact: Frank Wells (562) 942-7979
Burlingame—Inspired by the news that House and Senate Conference Committee members have ironed out the differences between their versions of the economic recovery plan, restored critical funding to education and could be voting on a final package soon, today the California Teachers Association is calling on U.S. lawmakers to pass the final package right away to give our country, state and schools the financial boost they need.
“The California Teachers Association applauds the Senate and House conference committee for acting so quickly to reconcile their differences in the stimulus package and setting their sights on putting America back on the road to economic recovery,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “It is our plea that both houses of Congress will now work equally as fast to pass the final package.”
California public schools, colleges and universities are facing $11 billion in cuts under the governor’s current budget proposal. Many districts are already planning to lay off thousands of classroom teachers and other school employees. Vital programs like Class Size Reduction, art, music, and career technical education are threatened or have already been eliminated.
The federal stimulus package establishes a $53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, including $11 billion for California schools over two years. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act conference report the additional funds could be used to prevent layoffs, program cutbacks and for modernization projects. It contains additional funding for Title I to help disadvantaged kids, IDEA for Special Education, higher education programs to help make college more affordable, and early childhood development programs to expand availability to more children.
“The stimulus package would help alleviate some of the strain on state and local school district budgets, and help protect important programs that help students learn. While Congress clearly understands the need to act quickly to address the worsening economic situation, CTA hopes lawmakers will act just as quickly to pass the final package that also recognizes the key role that funding for education has in any lasting and meaningful economic recovery,” said Sanchez.
A state-by-state breakdown of the education funding can be found at www.cta.org.