In the midst of the biggest education funding crisis in California’s history, with an unprecedented 30,000 pink slips issued to teachers and administrators statewide, and nearly 10,000 school employees receiving layoff notices, today the Governor’s office released some much-needed good news: California will be the first state in the nation to receive federal stimulus funds for education.
The $3.1 billion in Education Recovery Act dollars being released will begin to mitigate the damage caused by the $11.6 billion in cuts to public schools in this year’s budget deal.
These funds will be administered by State Superintendent Jack O’Connell through the California Department of Education, and districts may apply for funding immediately.
Passage of Prop. 1 B on the May 19th ballot is the next critical step toward repaying schools the billions more in funding that was cut. California’s schools are ranked near dead last in the nation in per-pupil funding and have the largest class sizes and the fewest librarians, counselors and support staff of any state in the country.
And as the economy worsens, schools are being expected to provide even more social services to protect students from the cruel realities many face at home. Once again, schools are expected to be doing “more with less,” with so few resources left that they are stretched to the breaking point.
That’s why the Education Coalition supports creating long-term, stable revenue solutions to ensure that we never again rank dead last in how much we invest in our students.
The Education Coalition represents more than 2.5 million teachers, parents, administrators, school board members, school employees and other education advocates in California. For more information, please visit our website at: www.protectourstudents.org