Saturday, January 12, 2008


The California Education Coalition is the California State PTA, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), the California Association of School Business Officers (CASBO), the California County Superintendent Educational Services Association (CCSESA), California Federation of Teachers (CFT), the California School Boards Association (CSBA), the California School Employees Assocation (CSEA), the California Teachers Association (CTA), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Friday, January 11, 2008

  • While it is clear there are extraordinary challenges in balancing the state’s budget, the Education Coalition strongly opposes the Governor’s 2008-09 budget proposal and his plans to eviscerate Proposition 98. Our students and schools did not create this budget problem, and their progress shouldn’t be undermined because of it.

  • The governor’s budget reductions would be disastrous to public schools and they are fundamentally inconsistent with the state’s goal of improving student achievement. A $4.4 billion cut to Prop. 98 would mean laying off tens of thousands of teachers and would also result in increases in class size throughout the state, not to mention a further erosion of the support system for students provided by classified and paraprofessional staff.

  • Voters passed Prop. 98 almost 20 years ago to ensure our students and schools receive minimum funding. They strongly reaffirmed their support for the minimum funding law in 2005. Proposals to suspend Prop. 98 conflict with the will of the voters and jeopardize the minimum education funding levels Prop. 98 provides for students and schools.

  • According to a report released this week from Education Week, California spends $2,000 less per student than the national average. Other recent studies have shown that California seriously underfunds its public schools, with New York spending 75 percent more than California. The “Getting Down to Facts” studies show that billions more would be necessary to ensure the opportunity for all students to meet the state’s rigorous academic standards. In addition, California has some of the most overcrowded classrooms as well as the greatest shortage of librarians, counselors and other critical support staff in the nation.

  • Experts including the Fordham Foundation (one of the nation's leading proponents of rigorous academic standards), the Public Policy Institute of California, EdSource and researchers at Stanford University all confirm that California's K-12 academic and performance standards are among the most challenging in the nation. With hard work, modest investments in teacher training and the adoption of standards-aligned textbooks, our students and schools have been making progress. Reading scores are up 25 percent and math scores have increased 17 percent in the last four years. This progress cannot continue with these proposed cuts to our public schools.

  • A state budget proposal that looks at cuts alone is not a real solution, because it doesn’t address California’s underlying problem of inadequate and unstable revenue sources. We cannot talk about spending cuts without also talking about increasing revenues.

  • The most pressing challenge is to enact a balanced budget that continues the momentum of educational improvement that has been built since the late 1990s. This budget does not do that and anything less is unacceptable.

No comments: