Contact: Sandra Jackson by cell at 916-801-4776 or Dina Martin by cell at 415-710-6794
LOS ANGELES – Recognizing that all the ballot propositions are inextricably tied together and important to begin repaying some of the billions of dollars in cuts to public schools, as well as helping to protect students, education, health care and public safety programs from even deeper budget cuts, the California Teachers Association is supporting Propositions 1A-1F in the May 19 special election. The CTA State Council of Education, the union’s top governing body comprised of more than 800 democratically elected educators from across the state, voted today to support all six initiatives at its quarterly meeting in Los Angeles.
“Passing these initiatives will help restore critical funding needed for our students, schools and colleges,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “The repayment of some of the money cut from education will allow local school districts to restore student programs, reduce class sizes and rehire educators who have been laid off. Many of these initiatives, especially Propositions 1A and B, are dependent on each other and if they fail, the state is back to square one in trying to balance the budget and our schools could face even deeper cuts.”
Propositions 1A and 1B would work together to repay public education $9.3 billion.
Proposition 1A is intended to put the brakes on the state budget roller coaster and prevent deep cuts in bad economic years. It requires the state to direct 3 percent of general fund revenues into a rainy day fund each year until the fund reaches 12.5 percent. Part of the money from this fund would be used to begin repaying some of the money cut from public schools and community colleges.
Proposition 1B establishes a repayment plan to ensure schools are repaid the $9.3 billion they are owed under the minimum school funding law.
Proposition 1C will provide $5 billion in new revenues to help close the budget deficit without raising taxes by allowing the lottery to add new games.
Propositions 1D and 1E temporarily redirect money from tobacco taxes and the Mental Health Trust Fund to pay for children’s health care and other social services over the next two years.
Proposition F prohibits state legislators, the governor and other state politicians from getting pay raises whenever the state budget is running a deficit.
The State Council of Education also elected San Pablo elementary school teacher Gail Mendes as Secretary-Treasurer. Mendes, who is past president of the United Teachers of Richmond, teaches fourth grade at Bayview Elementary School. A veteran educator for more than 30 years, Mendes has also taught preschool, special education and adult education. She served on State Council and the CTA Budget Committee. Mendes will assume office on June 26, 2009.