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LEFT: At an American Education Week news conference in Sacramento, California State PTA President Jo Loss talks about the many programs that are being wiped out by the budget cuts. BELOW: CTA Board member Larry Allen during American Education Week at an emotional San Francisco high school town hall meeting detailing school cuts in the region. close corporate tax loopholes, generate more revenue and stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of California’s students, we will rob generations of stu- dents of the quality education they deserve now and into the future.” At a high school in San Fran- been able to use our library this year because we do not have a li- brarian. We have lost our bilin- gual resource teachers, thus, our most needy students [low- achieving students and English learners] are not being adequate- ly served.” In the Bay Area, the Santa Clara County Education Coali- tion sounded the alarm with a news conference in San Jose at a school in the Franklin-McKinley district. “Just like in school districts all over California, here in Santa Clara County, we’ve seen our class sizes increase,” said Don Dawson, a high school teacher in the East Side Union High School District in San Jose and a mem- ber of the CTA Board of Direc- tors. “We are having to jam five students or more in high school classes and an extra 10 kids in el- ementary school classrooms. It’s not business as usual in our classrooms anymore — large classes make it harder for stu- dents to get the individual atten- tion they deserve.” Fabio Gonzalez, a member of the San Jose Evergreen Commu- nity College Faculty, AFT 6157, noted that state funding for community colleges has been slashed by more than 16 percent at the same time that fees have risen 30 percent and fewer courses are being offered. “The CSU trustees and UC regents are raising the costs of a four-year education out of the reach of working families,” said Gonza- lez. “Unless our state’s leaders CTA gears up to defend education funding as $20 billion state deficit looms protracted battle to protect public education funding as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and law- makers begin work to close a projected $20 billion budget defi- cit and approve a 2010-11 state spending plan. The state and national econo- C mies are facing the toughest con- ditions since the 1930s, and these conditions have resulted in un- precedented reductions in federal and state revenues used to sup- port all programs. The state’s non- partisan Legislative Analyst’s Of- TA’s representatives in Sac- ramento are gearing up for what promises to be another fice has pegged the deficit as large enough to force the Legislature to consider how to find another $20 billion — on top of fixes that have bridged a $60 billion two-year shortfall — by the end of 2010. Schools throughout the state are already reeling from more than $17 billion in cumulative cuts, a disproportionately large percent- age of the state funding slashes that have hit students, educators and schools extremely hard. “We will continue our fight to preserve school funding and pro- tect Proposition 98, public educa- tion’s constitutional funding pro- tections,” says CTA President Da- vid A. Sanchez. “This past year, we successfully defeated efforts to gut Proposition 98. That victory keeps in force the requirement that the state repay schools in fu- ture good years for the cuts made during the current fiscal crisis — more than $11 billion of which is currently owed to schools.” Schools have already lost an es- timated 20,000 employees, includ- ing teachers and classified staff, and have seen increases in class sizes along with cuts in virtually all school programs, ranging from nursing and health programs to library and transportation programs. “The fundamental problem facing the state is a shortage of rev- enues,” says Sanchez. “We believe there are a range of ways Califor- nia revenues could be increased, including closing tax loopholes that are allowing wealthy corpora- tions and individuals to escape paying their fair share of the state’s programmatic costs.” Under state law, the governor is required to propose a budget in January, and lawmakers are re- quired to send him their final ver- sion by June 15. The state constitu- tion requires the governor to sign a new budget into law prior to the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. len Feldman september 2009 | 31 octo cisco, Bay Area educators, parents and school supporters stood up for public schools at an emotional Continued on page 33 CTA photo by Len Feldman CTA photo by Mike Myslinski

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