California Federation of Teachers:
“Public education essential to reopening and recovery of our communities”
Proposed 10% cut in K-12 schools and community colleges will hurt students and threaten economic recovery.
CFT calls on federal government to invest in California’s students by passing HEROES Act
Sacramento, CA — CFT President Jeff Freitas released the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s ‘May Revise’ budget announcement today, which included a proposed 10% cut ($6.5 billion) to K-12 schools and community colleges:
“A 10% cut to our schools and community colleges will hurt our students and endanger the economic recovery of the state. All available solutions, from federal stimulus dollars to expanding California’s revenue streams, must be considered.
“We appreciate Governor Newsom’s leadership and urgency in demanding federal support to prevent greater harm to our state and our families. But we urge the Administration and the Legislature to show similar resolve to protect our students from the proposed 10% cuts that threaten their future. In order to reopen schools, and to get our economy moving again, schools will need these critical resources to ensure the safety of our students, school workers, and our communities.
“This pandemic has only made more clear that quality instruction, engaging classrooms and support services are vital to our children’s academic success and their overall well-being. Slashing their teaching and support undercuts California’s recovery and our values.
“We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to make sure our schools have the resources they need to safely reopen and to ensure that every California student receives the education they deserve in the coming school year.
“We appreciate the Governor’s focus on equity throughout his education budget, especially his commitment to support our most vulnerable students and his continued investment in special education.
“We urge our elected leaders in Sacramento to look at every possible avenue to avoid the steep cuts. At the community college level, instead of cutting essential services to students, lawmakers should instead look to cutting duplicative programs such as Calbright College.
“We stand side by side with the Governor Newsom, urging immediate passage of the federal HEROES Act, a proposed second COVID-19 recovery bill introduced this week in Congress, which would invest nearly $1 trillion in state and local governments, including $100 billion in public schools and colleges. Without these critical funds, the education of a generation of California children, and the health of our state, will be at risk.
“This crisis also underscores the need to pass the Schools and Communities First initiative this November. The initiative will bring in $12 billion in desperately-needed funding for our schools and critical local services. As our schools and local communities face dire budget shortfalls, we simply can’t afford corporate tax loopholes anymore.”
The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 teachers, faculty, and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the AFT. More information at www.cft.org.