FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2010
Contact: Julie White, firstname.lastname@example.org, (916) 329-3832
On June 23, 2010, Greg Lucas’ California’s Capitol blog highlighted a report compiled by the office of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools showing that in the last 13 state budgets, other areas of the budget have grown disproportionately while education funding suffered. The principle sources for the report are the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Governor’s proposed budget and the Department of Finance.
As the conference committee works to reconcile budget proposals, the Education Coalition supports the Assembly budget, which honors the commitment made less than a year ago by the Governor and the Legislature to California’s students, does not suspend or manipulate the Proposition 98 constitutional funding guarantee for public education, and does not impose more cuts on schools that have been devastated by drastic reductions over the past two years.
In contrast, the Governor’s May Revision proposes to cut an additional $4 billion from education funding, on top of the $17 billion cut over the last two years. The Governor’s proposed budget would further reduce revenue limit funding – the general purpose support for schools – by $1.5 billion. This represents a cut of about $250 per student. The Governor also proposes cuts of $1.4 billion to child development programs, $28 million to county offices of education, $550 million from the K-3 Class Size Reduction program, and $206 million from virtually all K-12 programs to impose a negative cost-of-living adjustment.
California’s schools already rank at the very bottom of all 50 states in staff-to-student ratios, and nearly last in the nation in per-pupil spending. In addition, libraries have been virtually wiped out, while arts, music, sports, advanced placement and other essential programs have been eliminated from the curriculum.
To reverse this downward spiral, the Governor and legislators need to raise the revenues necessary to invest in California’s students now.