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/covid19budgetcrisisTweet This
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.