Thursday, July 02, 2009

School budget cuts

“The Governor continues to attempt to balance the budget on the backs of our students and our schools. Suspending Proposition 98 is a shortsighted approach that drops school funding into financial quicksand and will harm a generation of students.

“Our schools already have absorbed nearly $12 billion in cuts from a budget passed just months ago. As a result, schools have had to cut summer school; class sizes are going up; teachers and support staff have been laid off; and art, music, and sports programs are being eliminated. The list of tragic consequences of our budget crisis continues to grow.

“California needs a well-educated, critically thinking, and problem-solving workforce in order to improve and grow California’s economy. Public education is the key to unlocking the potential for success that our students possess. It is wrong-headed to cut education when we desperately need to nurture and support the students in our schools today who will be the backbone of our economy in just a few short years.

“Proposition 98 was passed by the voters of California to provide a floor of funding for our schools. Suspending it simply pulls the rug the out from under our students and the future of our state."
In addition to Mr. O’Connell, one of his potential replacements, Assemblymember Tom Torlakson who was a long-time teacher also spoke out strongly against the proposal.

“I am adamantly against suspending Proposition 98. The students of California and our schools have suffered far too much already. The Governor had the option to avert a suspension of Proposition 98 and an additional $3 billion in further cuts. Instead he chose to put our schools and the education of our kids at risk. There are many other solutions to the budget crisis that would not hurt the children of California.”

Under Proposition 98, the state is required to devote a specific proportion of the budget to education programs. Already, education funding has been slashed by over $12 billion. Proposition 1B was designed to restore just under $10 billion that has already been raided from education. That measure failed and now the governor is talking about taking even more money.
Superintendent O'Connell
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