Contact: Jonathan Goldman cell (415) 509-1654 or Frank Wells cell (562) 708-5425.
BURLINGAME – The billions of dollars of new cuts to public education proposed by the governor today in his May Revision budget will bankrupt the academic futures of California’s 9.8 million students in schools, colleges and universities, California Teachers Association President David A. Sanchez warned.
“California can’t climb out of this financial hole if we continue to rob our children of a well-rounded education,” Sanchez said. “The future we want for our students and our state can only be achieved by investing in our children today. The latest round of proposed cuts will impact a generation of students. The education of our children must be the state’s top priority if we are going to reach a better future.”
Following the voters’ rejection of five ballot measures designed to help the state navigate through a difficult economy, the governor is proposing additional education cuts of $1.6 billion this school year, and another $4.6 billion in the fiscal year starting July 1. This is in addition to the crippling $11.6 billion in cuts made to schools and colleges in February’s budget deal. Combined, this means a cut of nearly $3,000 per student.
“Our public schools and students have endured too much already,” Sanchez said. “Around the state, art, music and sports and vocational education programs have been cut. Dropout prevention programs, summer school, advanced placement courses and adult education classes have been eliminated. More than 27,000 teachers, counselors, nurses and education support professionals have already received layoff notices, and with these additional budget cuts more layoffs are expected in August. This means students will be facing class sizes of 35 to 40 students next year.”
“Our students are the ones who are suffering here. We ask them to meet some of the highest academic standards in the nation, and then fund their education at an embarrassing level, currently 47th in the nation. We can’t expect our students to continue to make improvements and meet our standards, when the state refuses to provide the resources necessary to help students succeed. Maybe it’s time for the state to temporarily suspend the state’s testing and accountability system until it can provide adequate funding.”
“In these tough economic times, there are tough decisions to be made. Rather than giving tax breaks to big businesses, lawmakers need to invest in our future – our children. CTA will continue to fight to make sure that all students get the quality education they deserve and that schools get the resources they need to help students succeed,” concluded Sanchez.