California State Budget Crisis

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					                            DRAFT 2/4/08
              Sample California State PTA Press Statement
                Proposed 2008-2009 California Budget
This budget flunks the basic test of good government: It hurts our children.
Our children did not create this financial crisis and they should not have to
pay for it.
A budget is a reflection of our community values. This budget does not
value the education, health, or welfare of our children and the future of
 (Insert personal statement)
        e.g. I am the parent of two elementary school children in________.
        I volunteer at my boys’ school. ETC.
I know how important it is to have small class size and enough textbooks for
all children. And I know how important it is to close the achievement gap.
I want to make sure my children and all the children in California have
everything they need to succeed
All the politicians say we have work together to find strategies to close the
achievement gap. Any cut to education--much less a 4 billion dollar cut --is
not a good strategy.
Larger class size is not a good strategy Fewer textbooks is not a good
strategy. Fewer teachers is not a good strategy. Cuts to health care is not a
good strategy
Any mid-year cuts or suspension of Proposition 98 is unacceptable.
California’s budget problems should NOT be balanced on the backs of
school children.
California spends $2,000 less per student than the national average.
A state budget proposal that looks at cuts alone is not a real solution.
Investing in public education is also one of the most important ways to
ensure the long-term growth and health of our state's economy. Today’s
students are tomorrow’s well-educated and highly skilled citizens who will
fill more high-paying jobs, create more new businesses, and cost the state
less in other social services – if we support them now.

This budget is no way to treat our children – or our state’s future economy.
                         Background information

According to the independent analysis of the California Budget Project:

The Governor’s Proposals include:
*    $4.825 billion of cuts to spending covered by the Proposition 98
     school-funding guarantee. Proposed 2008-09 cuts to K-12 education,
     including the loss of federal matching funds, translate into a reduction
     of $786 per student.

*     $1.126 billion of cuts to state Medi-Cal spending. The largest share of
      the savings would come from reducing payments to providers of a
      number of health services by 10 percent.

*     $463 million of reductions to the CalWORKs Program. The largest
      share of the savings would come from terminating aid to certain
      children who receive assistance through the state’s “safety

*     $324 million in savings from suspending the June 2008 and June 2009
      state cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for cash assistance grants
      for low-income seniors and persons with d isabilities in the SSI/SSP

*     $372 million in reductions to the Department of Corrections and
      Rehabilitation. These savings are largely due to proposals that would
      expedite release of more than 20,000 nonviolent offenders from state
      correctional facilities .
                             Additional Talking Points

We agree that the level of revenue needs to bear some relationship to the level of
expenses. but do the people of California really want to raid Proposition 98 year after
year to balance the budget?

And do the people of California want to slash services to foster children and safety net
support funding for children living in poverty in order to balance an irrational system of
revenues and expenses.

Budget cuts to Proposition 98 threaten to increase class sizes. What a shame that when
the state seeks to close the educational achievement gap,, we have to start kids out in
over-crowded kindergartens. California can do better than that.

Sure, the budget needs to be balanced this year and next year. But for the sake of the
kids, let's look at the long term. Put everything on the table. Maybe we need a "year of
the budget!"

Suspending Proposition 98 means disastrous cuts in school funding that will affect our
students. California has student performance standards among the highest in the country,
and our students have made progress- with reading scores up 25 percent and math scores
up 17 percent in the last four years.

Suspending Proposition 98 means further harm to the state's economy. Continuing to
invest more in education is the best way to ensure a healthy and strong economy for
California's Future.

Suspension of Proposition 98 is another attempt to break the promise of public education
to our children.

The magnitude of the proposed budget reductions would be disastrous to public schools
and they are fundamentally inconsistent with the State's goal of improving student

Any proposals to suspend Proposition 98 clearly would jeopardize the minimum
education funding levels that it was designed to protect.

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