Contact: Robin Swanson (916) 443-1486
Sacramento—Education groups launched a “Commitment Card” campaign today to hold legislators accountable for keeping their promises to California’s students. Launched in advance of the May revision to the Governor’s budget, the “Promise to Our Students” card ensures that lawmakers will not cut funding for schools further, and that they will stand by the budget agreement made in July, as required by law under Proposition 98, to restore the $11.2 billion in funding owed to schools.
The commitment card specifically says that lawmakers will “stand by my promise to California’s students and: Protect public education funding from further cuts; stand by the budget agreement signed into law (AB 4X 3) to restore $11.2 billion in funding owed to schools and community colleges, and oppose any attempts to suspend or undermine Prop 98, the voter-approved minimum school funding guarantee.”
The group launched an accompanying web site, www.promisetostudents.com that will track which legislators have made the promise to California’s students.
“Our students are the ones who pay the price when adult supervision on school campuses is cut to the bone,” said Allan Clark, President of the California School Employees Association. “It’s shameful that our state’s leaders would event think of turning their backs on our students yet again. We’re here to make sure they stand by their word to our students.”
Further cuts to what little funding remains for California's schools and school libraries is just part of the current assault on education. Governor Schwarzenegger has indicated he will renege on the July budget agreement, when he promised to restore more than $11 billion that the voters approved through Proposition 98—essentially proposing to retroactively cut last year's funding.
“If the Governor and the Legislature do not live up to their word, these cuts would amount to a cut of $2,500 per student in the last two years,” said David A. Sanchez, President of the California Teachers Association. “How much more will our students and schools have to suffer because of broken promises from our elected leaders, the very people we’ve entrusted to invest in California’s future?”
“California’s schools rank at the very bottom of all 50 states in staff-to-student ratios, and nearly last in the nation in per-pupil spending,” said Charles Weiss, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools. “In addition, libraries have been virtually wiped out, while arts, music, sports, advanced placement and other essential programs have been eliminated from the curriculum. This campaign is an important step as we work to ensure that lawmakers are upholding the promises they have made to our students.”