Contact: The Education Coalition's Robin Swanson at (916) 204-6890
The Education Coalition strongly opposes Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal announced yesterday to suspend Prop. 98, the state’s minimum school funding law, so that he can make deeper cuts to education on top of the $11.6 billion already enacted.
Time and again, Californians have voted to protect Prop. 98 and have overwhelmingly rejected any attempts to undermine the law. Public polls show that voters continue to support increasing funding to our schools, saying it is the last place they want state leaders to cut. And yet, lawmakers have subjected education funding to 60 percent of the cuts made to the state budget. Though there have been many attempts to undermine Prop. 98 over the years, education funding continues to grow at a much slower pace than most other areas of the budget.
Quite, simply, Prop. 98 is not the problem – it’s time for lawmakers to take a balanced approach to solving the state’s budget crisis, instead of shortchanging an entire generation of students of the quality education they deserve.
With public schools already taking the worst funding hit since the Great Depression, the Education Coalition maintains that public schools simply cannot sustain any further cuts, and also supports schools being repaid the funding they are owed under Prop. 98.
Suspending Prop. 98 would further drain basic resources from schools that have already been forced to increase class sizes, cut programs critical to student learning, cancel bus routes and eliminate summer school programs, as well as librarians, counselors and arts and music classes.
California’s students – who already live in a state that ranks 47th in the nation in per-pupil spending – have been subjected to historic, unprecedented cuts. The devastation of these cuts is not only lost jobs right now, but deep, lasting damage to the ability of our children and the state to compete and succeed in the future.
The Education Coalition represents more than 2.5 million teachers, parents, administrators, school board members, school employees and other education advocates in California. For more information, please visit our website at: www.protectourstudents.org