Monday, October 10, 2005

PTA on Prop. 76

October 7, 2005
STATE SUPERINTENDENT JACK O’CONNELL AND THE CALIFORNIA STATE PTA OPPOSE PROP. 76
Initiative Could Devastate Public Schools; Hurt Students
Anaheim – Today California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell joined with California State PTA President Brenda Davis and over 100 members of the PTA to oppose Prop. 76, the “Cut School Funding Act,” citing the initiative’s devastating impact on public schools if it were to pass on November 8th.

At a time when our state is already 8th from the bottom in per pupil spending, Prop. 76 would reduce school funding by $4 billion every year, about $600 per student – and that is unacceptable,” O’Connell said. “It eliminates Prop. 98, the voter-approved minimum school funding guarantee and locks school spending in the basement. Our students deserve better than that.”

“The California State PTA has made defeating Prop. 76 our top priority through November because it would result in major funding cuts to schools and hurt our kids,” Davis said. “That translates to more overcrowded classrooms, more teacher layoffs, more cuts in arts and music programs, fewer textbooks, elimination of more librarians, physical education specialists, nurses and counselors.”

“Prop. 76 would amend the California constitution, giving the Governor unprecedented budget powers to override state laws with no public oversight,” said Nancy Adalian, Director of Legislation for the California State PTA. “It would allow the Governor alone to cut additional funding for schools in the middle of the school year, creating havoc for local school budgets.”

“Our state can’t afford Prop. 76, because it makes a bad situation worse in Sacramento,” said Kathy Steinberg, Director of Education for the California State PTA. “It does away with any incentives for the Governor and the Legislature to work together.”

The LA Times said that under Prop. 76, “the governor could exercise any whim or impose any political vendetta,” and calls it “a really bad idea.” (4/18/05)

Prop. 76 would also cap spending on voter-approved programs like the early childhood programs that are already paid for with the tobacco tax. In some counties, that will translate into cuts to pre-school programs and other child health programs.
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