Thursday, July 07, 2005

Education Coalition disappointed

CTA and Education Coalition Disappointed with State Budget
Parents, Teachers, Schools Outraged that Budget Shortchanges Students, Schools by $3.1 Billion

July 6, 2005

SACRAMENTO -- The Education Coalition today issued the following statement in reaction to last night's proposed budget agreement:

More than 1.7 million parents, teachers, school board members, school employees and administrators represented by the Education Coalition are deeply disappointed that the budget agreement announced yesterday doesn't keep the promise to provide adequate funding for California's students and public schools.

This budget is certainly not "terrific" nor is it the "best budget agreement" ever, as the governor claimed. This budget fails to mend the governor's broken promises to education, it fails to meet the Constitutional requirements of the voter-approved Proposition 98, and it underfunds our schools by $3.1 billion at a time when they receive nearly $1,000 less per pupil than the national average.

We are further disappointed that the governor now plans to makes things worse by campaigning for an initiative that gives him the power to gut Proposition 98, reduce education funding below the minimum funding guarantees and slash base funding for our schools by billions.

The Education Coalition will continue its campaign to protect Proposition 98, make sure students and schools receive the funds required under current law approved by voters and secure long-term, adequate and stable funding for public education.

The governor's agreement, state statute and the California Constitution all require an additional $1.8 billion in funding this past fiscal year and $1.3 billion in the new budget year.

We hope that the governor and the legislature will work to find a way to address the ongoing fiscal shortfalls in school districts throughout the state – shortfalls which guarantee more school closures, increase in class sizes, lay offs of teachers and support staff, and a devastating shortages of librarians, counselors and nurses. The future of our state depends on giving our students access to a quality education. Our students and schools deserve better.

Brenda Davis, President, California State PTA
Henry Bietz, 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
Barbara E. Kerr, President, California Teachers Association
Sal Rosselli, President, Service Employees International Union, California Council

The California Education Coalition is comprised of organizations representing more than 1.7 million parents, teachers, school board members, school employees, and administrators, including:

Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) representing nearly 15,500 school administrators
California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) representing more than 4,000 school finance and administrative managers
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) representing all 58 county superintendents throughout California
California Federation of Teachers (AFT-AFL-CIO) representing nearly 90,000 education employees
California School Boards Association (CSBA) representing more than 1,000 K-12 school districts and county offices of education throughout California
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