Thursday, April 10, 2008

California School budget cuts

Dr. Francisco Reveles Is Keynote Speaker at Multicultural Education Conference

Dr. Francisco Reveles will be the keynote speaker at the annual Multicultural Education Conference sponsored by the department of Bilingual/Multicultural Education on Saturday, April 12, 2008, at Sacramento State University. The event will run from 8:30 Am -1:30 PM. in the University Union.

The conference is designed for teachers and future teachers to bring them new and interesting approaches to teaching. Dr. Reveles topic will be: “Closing the Achievement Gap: Building Networks to Success.”

Dr. Reveles is a Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a graduate of bilingual programs at CSUS. Over 45 workshops will offer ideas on teaching strategies, test taking, the current crisis in education budgets, and more.

“According to Governor Schwarzenegger, 2008 was supposed to be the year of education,” said Reveles. “Given the massive and destructive budget cuts that are currently being considered across the board, one is forced to conclude that either the governor was woefully misinformed regarding the looming state fiscal crises or, more likely, purposefully and with calculating political foresight engaged in the kind of rhetoric that we have come to expect from our lawmakers.”

More to the point, the state’s current proposed budget cuts to education are still another example of simplistic political thinking that does nothing to address the needs of our growing diverse student population, according to Reveles.

“Tragically, we are now facing cuts of 4.1 billion in K-12 education and $386 million in the CSU system,” he said. “Public schools that have been working hard to make lasting gains in achievement and retain committed teachers and counselors will see their efforts further eroded. School administrators, already struggling with the unpredictability of year-to-year funding cycles will see an increase in class size along with teacher layoffs."

The CSU system will also suffer as unfunded mandates relating to teacher education are enforced and tuition increases are implemented. Clearly, we are at a crossroads in education, observes Reveles.

“Can we fiscally prioritize in a way that invests in California’s future through better schools and teacher training, or will we blindly accept the proposed cuts to education that the governor and the legislature are considering? As educators, it is our responsibility, indeed our charge, to critically examine and challenge any such cuts to education,” he concluded.

The Conference program is available at www.edweb.csus.edu, For more information, contact Maggie Beddow, Conference Chair, beddow@csus.edu.
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