Monday, May 23, 2005

Governor fails the schools: again

Education Coalition Statement on Gov. Schwarzenegger's May Revised State Budget 2005-06

May 13, 2005

The governor's May Revision appears to acknowledge some of the funding problems facing our most challenged schools, but the Education Coalition is deeply disappointed that overall this budget revision cements the governor's broken promises to California's students and public schools and fails to provide any long term solutions.

Last year, students and public schools sacrificed $2 billion in ongoing cuts because the governor promised that our schools would receive their fair share of any additional state revenues and would be spared cuts in future years. The governor also promised during his campaign that he would protect Proposition 98, the voter approved measure that guarantees a minimum level of education funding.

With his May Revision and his flawed "Live Within Our Means" initiative, Gov. Schwarzenegger is breaking his word on both fronts and ignoring the will of the people.

In the short-term his budget proposal does little to help public schools and students and it fails to address the ongoing fiscal shortfalls in school districts throughout the state, guaranteeing more school closures, increases in class sizes, lay offs of teachers and support staff, and a devastating shortage of librarians, counselors and nurses. California's students deserve better.

In the long-term, his proposed budget initiative would exacerbate an already inadequate funding problem by eviscerating Prop. 98, eliminating the minimum funding protections for our schools at a time when they cannot afford to cut anymore.

The governor's budget plans and initiative proposals are in direct contrast to the priorities established by California voters. They cannot mask the fact the he has failed to offer any real solutions or plan to deal with the real problems facing our public schools.

The future of our state depends on giving our students access to a quality education. Our students and schools deserve better than broken promises.

Sandra Carsten, President, Association of California School Administrators

Pearl Iizuka, President, California Association of School Business Officials

Larry Reider, President, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association

Mary Bergan, President, California Federation of Teachers

Dr. Kerry Clegg, President, California School Boards Association

Clyde Rivers, President, California School Employees Association

Carla NiƱo, President, California State PTA

Barbara E. Kerr, President, California Teachers Association

Annelle Grajeda, President, Service Employees International Union, California
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