Melissa Fox, candidate for the California Assembly for the 70th Assembly District (Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest,Â Newport Beach and Tustin) posted this blog on her website yesterday in support of the statewide Day of Action to Defend Education.
We think Melissa hits the nail on the head about our smallest citizens paying the biggest price for California’s budget crisis, and we want to share her post with you:
“When it comes to California’s budget crisis, our smallest citizens pay the biggest price.
We hear a lot of talk in the media today about Californiaâ€™s â€œfailingâ€ schools â€“ schools with high drop out rates, violence and safety issues, and low test scores.
But in the five school districts in my Assembly District â€“ Irvine, Tustin, Saddleback, Newport-Mesa and Capistrano â€“ â€œfailingâ€ schools is not the problem.
Our local schools are not â€œfailing.â€
Our leaders are failing our schools.
Over the past three years, our local school districts have been hit with hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts, and the future looks worse, not better.
The devastation done to our schools by these massive budget cuts â€“ the damage done to our children and our communities â€“ is almost beyond comprehension.
- Our class sizes, already the largest in the nation, are increasing.
- Hundreds of teaching positions have been cut, and more teachers will lose their jobs.
- Our music and art programs have been eliminated.
- Our sports programs have been cut and parents are asked to contribute even more
- Gifted and Talented programs are being eliminated.
- English as a Second Language and adult education programs are disappearing.
- School libraries cannot purchase new books and are being shut down.
- Maintenance services are being cut so our schools are dirtier and less safe.
- School nurses are being cut, leaving our children without medical attention in an emergency.
- School bus services are being slashed.
- And weâ€™ve even cut our school crossing guards â€“ resulting in at least one instance in Tustin of a child being hit by car.
It is not an exaggeration to say that we have abandoned our children.
Tell that to my son, whose sixth grade classroom does not have enough pencils and paper for the 35 students in his class.
Tell that to his teachers, who are already overworked and struggling to teach more children with fewer resources every year.
I am in favor of more local control, but it is absurd to say that our schools are not being crippled by hundred of millions of dollars in budget cuts.
Across the state, students, parents, teachers and staff are participating in a â€œDay of Actionâ€ focusing on rolling back the nearly $2 billion in tax cuts for large corporations shamefully passed by our legislature last year.
Not only are our students suffering, but the two largest employers in the 70th District are the University of California, Irvine and the Irvine Unified School District, so when these schools lose funding, we lose jobs.
In the Assembly, I will fight to bring money back for education into our school districts â€“ instead of seeing that money go to other citiesâ€™ or countiesâ€™ schools because of our local legislatorsâ€™ â€œanti-public educationâ€ philosophy.
Help me stop the devastation of public education in our communities by donating to my campaign for change in Sacramento.
Our schools deserve someone who will fight for fair and adequate funding.
Our priorities must change, and our children and our future must come first in our stateâ€™s budget, not last.
Our children are depending on us to save their schools.
We can no longer afford to force them to pay the highest price for our political and budget failures.
Donate now to my campaign and weâ€™ll fight together for our childenâ€™s future.
Candidate for California Assembly, 70th Assembly District”