California schools have been hit very hard by the state budget crisis. Education spending has been cut by over $12 billion. These horrific cuts have forced the layoff of more than 5,000 teachers and threaten the jobs of at least 13,000 more.
These cuts have increased class sizes, left classrooms with out-of-date textbooks and provided school children with too few teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians. Important student programs like vocational education, art and music have been eliminated in many schools.
Prop. 1B starts the process of paying back to the schools and community colleges some of the money lost by these devastating cuts.
Instead of permanently losing these vital education funds, Prop. 1B sets up a repayment plan to ensure schools and community colleges are paid back as economic conditions improve. If we don't pass 1B, California will be permanently downgrading its public school system.
That is why the California Teachers Association urges you to vote Yes on Prop. 1B.
In 1988, voters passed Proposition 98 which provides a minimum guarantee of funding for K–12 education and community colleges. Prop. 98 is a safety net that provides the bare minimum funding necessary to keep our schools open . . . but we still rank 47th in the nation in per pupil spending. These recent budget cuts will push California even lower.
1B provides a way for schools to continue to get the minimum funding already set out in voter approved Prop. 98 by establishing a repayment schedule starting in 2011. This will allow local school districts to rehire teachers, reduce class sizes, purchase up-to-date textbooks and restore critical education programs. 1B requires strict accountability for education funding repayment and guarantees that the funding will go to local school districts to be spent in the classroom. School districts are audited annually by law.
During a crisis we all understand that every state program will receive cuts. But Californians have long recognized that high quality education leads to more prosperous and healthy communities for all of us. The future of our state depends on the investment we make in our public schools.
For future economic recovery and stability, California businesses need a well-educated workforce. California schools and community colleges must have adequate funding to educate our children to be vital members of this state's workforce. We cannot afford to lose jobs to other states.
Prop. 1B is part of a package of reforms that will provide short-term solutions to get us through these difficult economic times and long-term solutions to ensure we never again face the type of deficits we faced this year.
Prop. 1B is only a part of the solution, but it's a step we need if we are going to provide a quality public education to all students and keep public education a top priority in California. Vote YES on Prop. 1B.
DAVID A. SANCHEZ, President California Teachers Association
No argument against Proposition 1B was submitted.
Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.