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CA State Superintendent, Student and Educator Advocates Support Prop 15 Reinvestment in Public Schools

Our public schools were underfunded before the pandemic; Prop 15 will put schools and communities first by providing funding for educators, counselors, nurses, and first responders when we need them most.

In a news conference held Thursday morning, CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond joined California Parent Teacher Association (PTA) leader Shereen Walter, California Federation of Teachers (CFT) President Jeff Freitas, and Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board Member Andra Hoffman in calling for statewide support Proposition 15, an initiative that will bring 12 billion additional dollars to pandemic-impacted public services in the state.

Superintendent Thurmond believes Prop 15 will bring both a sense of hope as we continue through the pandemic, and a bridge to the future, where better economic times are on the horizon. Funding will enable districts to continue to prepare for a “new normal” in classrooms this fall, where planning for personal protective equipment (PPE) may be the difference in ensuring the quality and continuity of public school instruction in the coming months and years.

PTA spokesperson Shereen Walter sees a funding shortfall caused by the pandemic that will require ongoing investments in PPE. While districts take on these costs, Proposition 15 can decrease that burden; “This initiative will go to support hospitals, first responders, and youth mental health service in our local communities.”

Community colleges are a vital educational and economic link to disproportionately challenged students across our state. According to LACCD Board Member Andra Hoffman “Our graduates are hired at nearly twice the rate of their high school counterparts; CA receives a $4.50 return on every dollar it spends in our colleges.” She believes Proposition 15 will help these schools to continue their mission to educate the next generation of nurses, firefighters, and first responders for our communities.”

(CFT) President Jeff Freitas expressed his concern for our most vulnerable population of students who carry a disproportionate degree of the cuts to public schools and community services; “Even before this crisis, education was struggling; we were 44th in the country in per-pupil funding. As corporations have been profiting, students are suffering- it has to stop.”

Take Action! Support Prop. 15, the Schools and Communities First campaign by following this link: