I received this from Wendy Bokota, a legislative action leader in Irvine.Â Consider this an open letter to our state assembly members and state senators in Orange County. I know you read this blog Chuck DeVore; please read this post.
As a concerned citizen and child advocate, I ask that you Support the Legislative Conference Committee Budget to Avoid Deeper Cuts to Education and Other Childrenâ€™s Services.Â The final adopted package must include revenue enhancements.Â Please consider that:
- Time is running out for our students and schools. With the new school year approaching, our students and their education canâ€™t afford to wait any longer. In order to open the door to learning, schools need the funding and resources to start the school year. Itâ€™s time for lawmakers to put partisan politics aside and support a budget plan that closes tax loopholes and increases revenues to protect public education and other vital services.
- In the midst of Californiaâ€™s $15.2 billion budget deficit, the Education Coalition supports a balanced approach to solving our stateâ€™s budget problems in order to protect our schools and safeguard our studentsâ€™ futures.
- With the revenues generated in the Legislatureâ€™s Conference Committee budget plan, $2.4 billion of the Governorâ€™s proposed $4.3 billion in cuts would be restored. This plan reinstates funding for important student programs such as Class Size Reduction and provides a partial cost-of-living-increase to help attract and retain quality teachers and offset rising gasoline and transportation costs.
- The Conference Committee budget plan closes tax loopholes for large corporations and provides new and steady sources of revenue to help protect our public schools and community colleges from deeper cuts and further deterioration.
- Our public schools have already experienced more than $500 million in unexpected budget cuts this yearâ€”forcing many schools to lay off teachers and education support professionals as well eliminating art, music, and vocational education programs that help students learn and succeed. These cuts come at a time when California already ranks 46th in per-pupil spending, and dead last in the number of counselors, librarians and school nurses per student. The simple fact is Californiaâ€™s schools need additional revenues to provide our students with the education they deserve.
- The recent â€œGetting Down to Factsâ€ studies from Stanford University show that California seriously underfunds its public schools and would need to spend 40 percent more to ensure that all students meet the stateâ€™s rigorous academic standards. The studies also show that other states like New York spend 75 percent more on students than California.
- Our students and schools need real state budget solutions, not gridlock. Our students didnâ€™t create this budget crisis and their futures shouldnâ€™t be sacrificed to solve it. Itâ€™s time to take a balanced approach of cuts and revenue increases in order to solve the stateâ€™s budget crisis!