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Carnage from COVID-19 continues to mount. State and local governments are facing huge shortfalls—potentially, even bigger than during the Great Depression. More than 36 million Americans are unemployed, including nearly 40 percent of those from households earning less than $40,000.

A Looming Fiscal Emergency

Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, state and local budgets will be under siege across the country. The scale of this economic crisis will quickly deplete any financial reserves states and localities built before the outbreak.

We Can Be Part of the Solution

We must be part of the conversation and advocacy at every level. Making sure the funding is in place to open schools safely is not going to be an easy. It is going to take actions from educators and parents in a few arenas—in Congress, in the State Legislature and at the ballot box. After you reach out to your lawmakers, please ask your colleagues, parents and other stakeholders to take action too.

The Need for Federal Aid

Unlike the federal government, states are required to have balanced budgets, meaning that cuts are likely coming without federal help. While Congress has allotted various rounds of COVID-19 stimulus, it has yet to fund states and local governments at the levels needed to avoid crippling public services.

Congress needs to step up and do the right thing for our students and educators by allocating resources to state and local governments. Specifically, the senate should support the $3 trillion HEROES Act.

State Funding Can’t Be Cut

The 2020-21 proposed budget, currently being debated in the state legislature, containing more than $10 billion to schools and community colleges will be devastating at a time when students need more support.

Deep cuts to public education will stand in the way of preparing our schools for the safe return of students. Ask your legislator to support a budget with no cuts, no educator or school employee layoffs, and prioritizes equity by repealing corporate tax credits.

The 2020-21 #CABudget has education cuts of more than $10 billion to schools and community colleges. This will be devastating at a time when students need more support. Learn more: cta.org/covid19budgetcrisis

Reclaiming $12 Billon for Schools & Colleges

One of the biggest ongoing school funding solutions in up for a vote on the November 2020 ballot. The Schools and Communities First initiative, a statewide measure supported by CTA and a broad coalition of community, labor and education organizations, will reclaim $12 billion annually for schools, community colleges and our communities. It closes loopholes that have allowed California’s largest corporations and wealthy investors to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes for decades. And it does so while preserving all existing protections for homeowners and other residential property owners, providing small business incentives, and protecting agriculture property.

Learn more and get involved at schoolsandcommunitiesfirst.org.

Sample Tweets to Lawmakers

Tag your lawmaker in these tweets.

#WeAreCTA opposes budget cuts to public education! Our schools can’t reopen safely with proposed budget. The health and safety of all students and staff must be the first priority in reopening public schools and colleges. 

Schools and colleges cannot reopen safely with the funding level proposed in the revised budget plan. Please reject cuts and maintain school funding (including previous commitments for Special Education revenues) for all school districts. #WeAreCTA

Deep cuts to education will stand in the way of readying our schools for the safe return of students. Please support a #CABudget with no cuts and no educator layoffs. You will also support equity if you repeal corporate tax credits.

Please, no budget cuts. Extra funding is needed for struggling students who may not have been able to access & engage in distance learning.  Additional school nurses, counselors & other medically trained personnel will be needed to assist students.

Sample Tweets

What does #WeAreCTA think about reopening schools and colleges? We must: ensure health & safety of students, staff, protect school funding & prevent state budget cuts, provide teaching & learning flexibility and include educators in decisions! #CABudget #DistanceLearning

What would a budget cut to schools look like? $1,230 per student, or a 19% increase in class size, or 57,000+ educator lay offs, or 125,00+ classified employee layoffs. Yikes. Call 855-977-1770 to speak to your legislator and say NO budget cuts! #CABudget #WeAreCTA