from California State PTA
SACRAMENTO - Jo A.S. Loss, president of California State PTA, issued the following statement in response to the Governor's May Revision of the 2010-2011 budget proposal.
The Governor continues to propose cuts to education, children's programs and critical social services that are intolerable and unconscionable. The first responsibility of our elected officials is to meet the fundamental needs of all of our children, including a quality education.
The Governor stated that a budget should be a reflection of what we value most. Yet, his proposal does not at all support what Californians care about most: our children.
The Governor also spoke about the need to create jobs and stimulate our economy. Healthy, well educated students are critical for a strong economy.
Any responsible approach to solving the current fiscal crisis requires a balanced approach, including additional revenues. These brutal cuts jeopardize the future of our children and the future of our state.
We are deeply disturbed that the Governor's May Revision chooses to solve the state's current fiscal crisis with massive cuts. This was not the only option. Choosing to impose these cuts on our children and their neighborhood schools is unacceptable.
We call upon all Californians to speak up and demand a budget that invests in and meets the needs of California's 9 million children.
We have seen more than $17 billion in cuts to public education in the last two years. The Governor's May revision proposal continues to cut $2.4 billion more from schools. Class sizes are increasing, and we are already losing arts, music, gifted programs and extra-curricular activities. Our most vulnerable students are losing academic support programs and intervention services. School libraries are closing or reducing the hours they are available to students. Already among the last in the nation in the number of nurses, librarians and counselors per student, we are losing even more of these critical members of our education communities.
PTA is equally worried about the threats to the health, safety and well-being of California's children. Eliminating CalWORKS, child care and other programs will have a devastating effect.
The people of California want a budget that reflects their values. 79 percent of California voters are opposed to making further cuts to public schools to reduce the state budget deficit. A majority of Californians believe that there is not enough state funding going to public schools, and 66 percent would be willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for public schools.
Business officials agree that investing in education is critical. Top Silicon Valley business leaders note that improving K-12 education is one of the most important things the state should do to improve the business climate. Good schools are needed to recruit the best employees.
The future prosperity of our state requires a well-educated workforce able to compete in the global economy. Brutal cuts to our schools and critical services to children jeopardize California's future.
The California State PTA has nearly 1 million members throughout the state working on behalf of public schools, children and families, with the motto, "Every child, one voice." The PTA is the nation's oldest, largest and highest profile volunteer association working to improve the education, health and welfare of all children and youth. The PTA also advocates at national, state and local levels for education and family issues. The PTA is nonprofit, nonsectarian and noncommercial.
For more information about the California State PTA, visit www.capta.org.
# # #