CFT Statement on the May Revision of the State Budget
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2015
Building on Prop 30 for a brighter future
Governor Brown is moving in the right direction with this proposal to direct more resources toward schools and to the most needy Californians through the Earned Income Tax Credit. But despite gains for some in the state, economic inequality, as the Governor noted, has continued to grow. The state budget should represent an effort to level the playing field for all Californians.
“More than $6 billion in revenues beyond projections present an opportunity to build on the progress we have made in public education since the passage of Prop 30,” said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, “and the Governor makes a good start with the May Revision. However, we have a long way to go before we restore the programs in education and social services we lost to a decade of budget cuts. Whatever basic stability we have achieved is due to Prop 30, and that needs to be recognized by making its revenues permanent and seeking fair, new sources to fund California’s future.”
California is home to the highest rate of poverty among children in the country, but the state has not yet restored cuts to CalWORKS made during the recession, and the maximum family grant rule should be repealed. Children who come to school hungry or sick face enormous obstacles in trying to achieve academic success. This budget could and should support extending health care to all, regardless of citizenship status.
More of the state’s working families will have access to public higher education, traditionally a ladder of upward mobility, through two years of University of California tuition freezes. But the fact remains that tuition is too high after years of increases, and should be rolled back.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association. The CFT is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and represents faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education.