Thursday, July 24, 2008


Subject:        State Budget - Urgent Message

From:             Pam Brady, President, California State PTA

Thursday, 24 July, 2008

Word is out in Sacramento that there may be a vote on the state budget next Tuesday, July 29th.

As you know, legislative leaders and the governor have been meeting to try to work out a budget solution. A legislative conference committee (made up of Assembly and Senate representatives) released a budget proposal recently.  This proposal takes a more balanced approach and includes significant new revenues to help prevent against any deeper cuts to education and children’s services.  At the state Education Coalition meeting Tuesday, it was determined that, given the current economic and political climate, this conference committee budget represents the best proposal on the table for new revenues to prevent even deeper cuts to education and some other social services. The conference committee bill is a better budget solution than was proposed by the governor in January or at the May Revise.  We will, of course, be watching carefully to make sure that the revenue components are included in the "trailer bills" as part of any budget deal.

We must urge all of our members, fellow parents and colleagues in the education community to contact their state legislators right away with this message:

Support the Legislative Conference Committee Budget to Avoid Deeper Cuts to Education and Other Children’s Services.  The final adopted package must include revenue enhancements.

Attached is a set of updated key messages from the Coalition related to the latest budget proposal.  We are also providing a link to the California Budget Project’s side-by-side comparison of the governor’s and legislative budget plans, as well as a summary of the conference committee proposal as prepared by our Legislation Team for the Sacramento Update.

California Budget Project:



(from the California State PTA Sacramento Update)

July 12 — Tuesday night the Budget Conference Committee finished reconciling differences between versions of the 2008-09 state fiscal plan drafted by the Assembly and Senate. The plan, adopted along party lines on a 4-2 vote, rejects deep cuts in education and health care and includes $9.7 billion in new revenue, which is $1.8 billion lower than what the Senate recommended and $2.7 billion more in new revenue than what the Governor proposed. A counter proposal to close the budget gap will be offered by the Republican members of the Legislature.

The Conference Committee budget is a balanced approach.  It closes tax loopholes and rolls back tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Californians and restores money to education, health care and public safety.

On the expenditure side, the committee’s plan:

  • Provides $2.3 billion more for K-12 education than proposed by the Governor.
  • Restores $1.5 billion in cuts to health and human services. This includes restoring nearly $200 million in health care services to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, the reimbursement rate for Medi-Cal providers and federal pass-through funds for the aged, blind and disabled. 
  • Reduces corrections spending by $300 million with a reform package that helps lower the prison population.
  • Restores drastic cuts to home care services.
  • Restores funds for at-risk kids.
  • Restores $57 million in financial assistance for college students. 

On the revenue side, the committee’s plan:

  • Reinstates the tax brackets on the wealthiest Californians by reinstating the 10% and 11% tax brackets. Revenue generated: $5.6 billion.
  • Closes a corporate tax loophole for large corporations.  Revenue generated: $1.1 billion.
  • Suspends a tax adjustment for upper-income Californians.  Revenue generated: $815 million.
  • Rolls back a tax loophole for upper-income Californians.  Revenue generated: $215 million.
  • Restores the franchise tax. Revenue generated: $470 million.
  • Steps up tax enforcement. Revenue generated: $1.5 billion. This is one-time revenue. 



THE EDUCATION COALITION  represents more than 1.7 million parents, teachers, school board members, school employees and administrators, represented by:, The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).The California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESSA), The California. Federation of Teachers (CFT-AFL-CIO), The California School Boards Association (CSBA). The California School Employees Association (CSEA). The California State PTA. The California Teachers Association (CTA) and The Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

· Support the Legislative Conference Committee Budget to Avoid Deeper Cuts to Education and Other Children’s Services.  The final adopted package must include revenue enhancements.

· Time is running out for our students and schools. With the new school year approaching, our students and their education can’t afford to wait any longer. In order to open the door to learning, schools need the funding and resources to start the school year. It’s time for lawmakers to put partisan politics aside and support a budget plan that closes tax loopholes and increases revenues to protect public education and other vital services.

· In the midst of California’s $15.2 billion budget deficit, the Education Coalition supports a balanced approach to solving our state’s budget problems in order to protect our schools and safeguard our students’ futures.

· With the revenues generated in the Legislature’s Conference Committee budget plan, $2.4 billion of the Governor’s proposed $4.3 billion in cuts would be restored. This plan reinstates funding for important student programs such as Class Size Reduction and provides a partial cost-of-living-increase to help attract and retain quality teachers and offset rising gasoline and transportation costs.

· The Conference Committee budget plan closes tax loopholes for large corporations and provides new and steady sources of revenue to help protect our public schools and community colleges from deeper cuts and further deterioration.

· Our public schools have already experienced more than $500 million in unexpected budget cuts this year—forcing many schools to lay off teachers and education support professionals as well eliminating art, music, and vocational education programs that help students learn and succeed. These cuts come at a time when California already ranks 46th in per-pupil spending, and dead last in the number of counselors, librarians and school nurses per student. The simple fact is California’s schools need additional revenues to provide our students with the education they deserve.

· The recent “Getting Down to Facts” studies from Stanford University show that California seriously underfunds its public schools and would need to spend 40 percent more to ensure that all students meet the state’s rigorous academic standards. The studies also show that other states like New York spend 75 percent more on students than California.

· Our students and schools need real state budget solutions, not gridlock. Our students didn’t create this budget crisis and their futures shouldn’t be sacrificed to solve it. It’s time to take a balanced approach of cuts and revenue increases in order to solve the state’s budget crisis!

Friday, July 18, 2008



By: Jeremy Chen | Chaffey Breeze - the independent student newspaper of Chaffey College

7/21/08- Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator once more.

 image Media Credit: Jimmy Purcell

It's not in a feature film this time but as the trigger of impending budget cuts in California education. His proposed budget is expected to hit education hard with a 10 percent reduction in funds. This includes community colleges like Chaffey, which has given students concern for the future.

With Chaffey, $5 million in cuts may be offset through millions already set aside in reserves.

Earl Davis, the Vice President of Business Services, gave the specifics of what will happen for the 2008-2009 school year. "The 2008-2009 budget has insured that we will not reduce access for our students to educational opportunities," Davis explained. "In fact, we will actually be offering additional sections in core classes." Good news for current and prospective students.

This doesn't mean that cuts won't happen, but the repercussions of Schwarzenegger's cuts will be minimized, he said. At the moment, a hike in tuition doesn't seem to be an option under consideration.

"Tuition is not going to go up," Davis said.

"All the community colleges are being subjected to the cuts, but here [at Chaffey] we are utilizing a reserve fund that will significantly reduce any negative impact that might occur," Davis said. "The cuts that will occur though will be restricted to energy usage and other outside costs, such as non instructional expenses." The reserve fund comes from previous budgets in the past that required a certain percentage of surpluses be set-aside in reserves. This will allow Chaffey to bounce back effectively from $5 million worth of cuts.

The recent cuts have been a result of the slumping economy. "Cuts to community colleges will only hurt the economy even more as people won't be allowed to access the education they possibly need to find a career path," Davis observed.

The California Community College System- which includes Chaffey - is the largest higher educational system in the nation as it serves more than 2.6 million students annually. Chancellor Diane Woodruff, head of the state's community college system, has noted previously that a $525 million reduction facing the system would not allow them to serve 52,000 new students next year. It is the state's largest provider of workforce training, and would become compromised with the proposed budget cuts. Although Chaffey might not feel the brunt of the cuts, other community colleges likely will.

The students of Chaffey College shouldn't worry about possibly having their class choices be limited by government bureaucracy, according to Davis.

smf 2¢Everything is just fine at Chaffey this year . . . too bad about the 52,000 students in the state being denied entrance to community colleges.

Of course next year Chaffey will have no reserves and Woodruff will not be Chancellor of the Community College system.

The Breeze - Arnold terminates education budget

Friday, July 11, 2008


Missed opportunities in proposed budget

By: Michael Watenpaugh | Marin Independent Journal

What do you do with a student who continually misses assignments,

due dates or deadlines? Teachers realize that this is a problem. It

can lead to bad habits that can greatly impact studies and other

important areas in the life of the student.

A good teacher will react accordingly: Requiring the student to

complete the late assignment; providing consequences for the missed

deadline; and taking steps to ensure that it will not happen in the


Students need to be held accountable and to learn what it means to

be reliable and to follow through on meeting expectations and

requirements. Our state legislators and the governor need to learn

this lesson, as well.

On June 15, the constitutional deadline came and went for the state

Legislature to enact a budget. As of today, the state has no

spending plan in place for 2008-09.

A deadline and an opportunity for leadership have been missed.

California's schools have closed for the summer without any idea of

what challenges and realities the new state budget will bring.

Districts have planned for whatever may come. For some, it has meant

the delivery of layoff notices or the canceling of summer school and

other critical student programs.

Read the full story


School District Makes Summer School Cuts

By: Lynn Stuart | Fox 6 News (San Diego)

Thousands of kids around the county are going to have some

unexpected time on their hands while getting a lesson in economics

due to cuts in summer school programs.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Unified School District says these

are tough cuts to make, but with it's budget slashed by about $56

million, they had to cut somewhere.

San Diego Unified is the biggest district in the county to eliminate

summer school for kids in first through fifth grade. Last year, more

than 3,200 kids were able to hone their reading, writing, and

arithmetic skills.

Read Full Article

Thursday, July 10, 2008



July 9, 2008

Sacramento – Today the Education Coalition released a statewide radio ad campaign to urge the Governor and lawmakers to invest in education and to find common-sense budget solutions that increase revenues.  Transcripts of the ads are below, and audio versions can be found on the web site at

“The Education Coalition wants our elected leaders to know that the time has come to put aside partisan politics and to invest in our children’s future,” said David A. Sanchez, President of the California Teachers Association.  “Delaying and cutting school funding through the state budget process only hurts our students.”    

“Our state leaders need to put our students’ education at the top of their agenda, and pass a responsible budget that rejects cuts to schools,” said Pam Brady, President of the California State PTA. “We need to give students the tools and resources they need to succeed. The time to act is now.”

“Schools are already suffering from the impact of cuts and delayed funding,” said Paul H. Chatman, President of the California School Boards Association.  “It’s time to move forward and invest in our kids. California business leaders say the best way to improve our economy is to make sure we have a well-educated work force – let’s work together to achieve that goal.”