Support statewide movement for public education funding, charter school reform, and class size reduction
March 24, 2019

Resolution

Whereas, preK-14 per pupil spending, which relies on state funding, has since 1978 declined from the top 10 in the nation to the bottom 10; and

Whereas, school funding in California is $3,400 per pupil below the national average, while California’s cost of living is among the highest in the nation; and

Whereas, the discrepancies between salary and the cost of living prevent many teachers and staff from living in the communities they serve and prevent school districts from retaining high-quality educators; and

Whereas, California faces a teacher shortage that threatens the quality of public education throughout the state; and

Whereas, public schools in California face significant challenges to provide an equitable, quality education for a student population with vast differences in language, income, parental education level, and other social, economic, and educational factors; and

Whereas, special education services have not been fully-funded in school districts due to the growing number of students requiring special education services, along with the rising costs associated with those services, and the lack of mandated federal and state financial support for those services; and

Whereas, all schools and students deserve fully funded support, including but not limited to quality early childhood education programs, lower class size, lower special education caseloads, additional support staff, after-school tutoring, counselors, nurses, certificated librarians, and other resources to address our students’ academic, emotional, and social needs, schools and students with the highest need should receive additional funding and support; and

Whereas, research has proven that investments in high-needs students raise achievement levels, reduce poverty, and support human development; and

Whereas, Proposition 13 contains a loophole that for decades has undertaxed commercial property, resulting in the drastic underfunding of public education and social services; and

Whereas, the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act initiative would close this loophole and provide at least $4.5 billion annually for K-14 schools and another $5.5 billion to needed social services; and

Whereas, the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act would provide funding to all school districts, over and above Proposition 98 funding, following the Local Control Funding Formula to support all students in all districts with unduplicated students; and

Whereas, the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act will also provide billions in funding yearly for cities, counties, and special districts in locally controlled revenues for parks, public safety, housing, infrastructure, health and human services, libraries and the environment; and

Whereas, inadequately regulated charter schools, privately run increasingly by for-profit management organizations, drain needed resources from neighborhood schools, are not fully transparent in their operations, and fail to provide equal access to all students; and

Whereas, California Education Code Sections 41376 and 41378 prescribe the maximum class sizes and penalties for districts with any classes that exceed these limits:

  • Kindergarten – average class size not to exceed 31 students; no class larger than 33 students;
  • Grades 1 through 3 – average class size not to exceed 30 students; no class larger than 32 students;
  • Grades 4 through 8 – in the current fiscal year, the average number of students per teacher not to exceed the greater of 29.9; and

Whereas, quality instruction for all students depends on limiting the number of students in a class and lowering class sizes improves teaching and learning conditions leading to growth in student achievement and positive social interactions;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the CFT urges its locals to mobilize members with community allies in vibrant campaigns, combined with non-violent direct action including participation in the May 22nd rally in Sacramento for the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act ballot measure in 2020; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges its locals to mobilize members with community allies in vibrant campaigns, combined with non-violent direct action, and urges the governor and Legislature to strenuously advocate for the funding of public education at a rate of $20,000 per pupil, and to support wages that address California’s high cost of living for all workers serving students in order to address our state’s teacher and support personnel shortage; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges its locals to mobilize members with community allies in vibrant campaigns, combined with non-violent direct action, and urges the governor and Legislature to strenuously advocate for significant increases in federal special education funding to fully fund California’s portion of the special education mandate; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges its locals to mobilize members with community allies in vibrant campaigns, combined with non-violent direct action, and urges the governor and Legislature to strenuously advocate for a system of effective oversight and accountability measures for existing California charter schools; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges its locals to mobilize members with community allies in vibrant campaigns, combined with non-violent direct action, and urges the governor and Legislature to enact a temporary ban on charter schools to create the time and space to investigate and root out issues of private gain, conflict of interest, lack of financial transparency, inequity in service to students, civil rights, and more; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges its locals to mobilize members with community allies in vibrant campaigns, combined with non-violent direct action, and urges the governor and Legislature to strenuously advocate, for enacting measures to limit the average class size in every district of California to 24:1 in grades K-8, with no class larger than 26, and 26:1, with no class larger than 28 in all classes other than physical education and music as of 2019-20; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges its locals to mobilize members with community allies in vibrant campaigns, combined with non-violent direct action, and urges the governor and Legislature to strenuously advocate for adequate support, including training, for restorative justice programs in schools as an alternative to punitive disciplinary programs; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT reaffirm its endorsement of the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act ballot measure in 2020; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT affirms that supporting the full funding of public education must be a top priority of the California Legislature and of the governor; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges the governor and Legislature to strenuously advocate for significant increases in federal special education funding, to fully fund California’s portion of the special education mandate, and to make meaningful special education reforms; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT urges the governor and Legislature to support wages that address California’s high cost of living for all workers serving California students to address this state’s teacher and support personnel shortage; and

Be it finally resolved, that the CFT will report to locals in writing on the progress of this resolution every six months through the end of 2020.