CFT applauds Governor Newsom for his commitment to public education in his first state budget

News Release

For immediate release: January 10, 2019
Contact: Matthew Hardy – 510-703-5291

Education and classified professionals call for more investment in K-14 schools through progressive taxation

The California Federation of Teachers applauded Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2019-2020 budget today, highlighting the governor’s commitment to increased funding for schools and colleges, profound investment in early education and kindergarten, further investment in public employee pensions, and his two years of free community college for all students.

According to CFT President Joshua Pechthalt, Governor Newsom’s first budget represents a deep and profound commitment to a quality public education for all California students.

“This first budget for Governor Newsom represents a sea change in how we approach early childhood and community college education. We applaud the Governor for that”, says Joshua Pechthalt. “His proposed investments in our students, our schools, and the educators and classified professionals who serve them mark a new day in California.”

While lauding the governor for his bold commitment to public education today, the CFT was quick to point out that California chronically underfunds schools and that substantial new revenues are necessary in order to give students the quality public education they deserve.

“Despite being the 5th largest economy in the world, California languishes at 43rd in that nation in per-pupil spending,” continues Joshua Pechthalt. “We look forward to working with Governor Newsom, the Legislature, and all who care about California students to raise the essential revenue our schools need through progressive taxation.”

Along with community and parent allies from throughout the state, the CFT was instrumental in qualifying the Schools and Communities First initiative for the November 2020 ballot. The initiative, which would restore over $11 billion per year to California’s schools, community colleges, health clinics, and other vital local services, would close a loophole in current tax law that allows wealthy commercial property owners to evade paying property taxes.

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