Contacts: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – The following statement was issued today by Dean E. Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association, in response to the Think Long Committee Report offering advice and ballot measure proposal ideas on the future of the state:
“The Think Long Committee Report was supposed to be a bipartisan path to rebuilding California’s future, not a dangerous detour that would hurt students and the poor. Educators are alarmed by these new recommendations to raise taxes on the poor, lower taxes for corporations, dismantle Proposition 98—the state’s minimum school funding law—and avoid repaying $10 billion already owed to public schools and students. Rather than help public schools recover from the billions they have lost, the committee ties future funding increases to unproven education reforms. This is taking the state in the wrong direction.
“Over $20 billion has been cut from our schools and colleges in the last three years. Our students are being squeezed into larger class sizes, while art, music and other programs have been eliminated, and many schools no longer have librarians. About 40,000 educators have been laid off, while thousands of students are being priced out of a higher education as tuition has soared as much as 300 percent since 2003. And the billionaires and political insiders on this committee are recommending that we wipe the slate clean of the billions owed by the state to education? Their report talks about ‘rebooting’ the state’s future with ‘new civic software,’ but these ideas look more like viruses.
“The Think Long Committee is out of touch with California voters and their commitment to properly fund public education. The new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of registered voters in California shows that the majority of Californians favor increasing taxes to fund public schools. A recent State PTA poll shows parents want education programs that have been cut restored. Our state already ranks 46th in per-pupil spending and needs big businesses to pay their fair share of taxes. It’s time for corporations already gaming the tax system to pay their fair share. The Think Long Committee needs to do some rethinking.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.