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The governor’s state budget plan – including his call for extending temporary taxes with a June ballot measure to help erase the state’s $25 billion budget deficit – was endorsed today by the governing council of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association.
Educators meeting here are alarmed that, without an extension of current revenues, public schools and colleges would lose at least another $2.3 billion on top of the more than $18 billion in devastating cuts they have suffered over the past three years. The vote to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan came from the nearly 800 democratically elected teacher delegates on the CTA State Council of Education at their meeting in Los Angeles.
“Educators and all school employees are making a stand to protect our students and classrooms,” said CTA President David A. Sanchez. “The governor’s plan to extend temporary taxes for five years is a necessary and viable option to prevent further cuts to schools, public safety, health and other vital state programs. California voters must be allowed to decide whether they want to make our schools a priority and start rebuilding a world-class public education system or whether they want a world-class state budget catastrophe."
Educators also approved their 2011-12 state budget principles. They oppose any mid-year or additional cuts to schools and colleges; support a balanced approach of cuts and revenues to resolve the budget crisis; support extending current temporary taxes for five years with a June ballot measure; support the governor’s plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies – generating about $1 billion in new funding for schools; and oppose fee hikes for college students that are making a higher education unaffordable.
More than 30,000 California educators and 10,000 other public school employees have been laid off over the past three years due to state cuts. Class sizes are soaring and entire school years are shrinking in many school districts. The state continues to rank at the bottom of all 50 states in the ratios of teachers, school counselors, librarians and nurses to students.
CTA emphasizes that the governor’s plan will not restore all previous cuts to education and does not adequately meet the long-term funding needs of our schools and colleges. CTA supports changes to the state’s tax system to provide ongoing funding for education. To start a public conversation about how unfair tax policies are hurting school funding, CTA has launched an online resource of research and studies at www.cta.org/taxfairness.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.