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    Dec062013

    School Funding

    UTP believes that students need and deserve smaller class sizes, up-to-date textbooks, computers, and a safe learning environment. Despite the funding approved in the state budget for 2016-17, California continues to lag behind the national average in per-pupil funding, has some of the largest class sizes in the country and ranks dead last in the number of counselors and librarians in our schools.

    California's schools and students saw some relief with the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, with much needed moneys flowing to the state's public school system. With Prop. 30 originally set to expire in 2018, Californians passed Proposition 55 - the California Education and Health Care Protection Act - this past November. Passing Prop. 55 will extend taxes on the wealthiest Californians, preventing a staggering $4 billion budget deficit and severe cuts to public education.

    As a result of Proposition 13 in 1978, more than 80 percent of school funding comes from the state. It is incumbent on the state to uphold the California Constitution, which says that public education has first call on state moneys. The state's budget crisis from the not-too-distant past made us all too aware of the pitfalls of our faulty tax structure, which is currently benefitting the wealthiest corporations over Californians themselves. It's time to restore fairness to our tax system.

    In 1988, CTA led the fight for Proposition 98, which was approved by California voters and guarantees minimum funding to California public schools. CTA believes all public schools in the state should have adequate resources to assure all students a quality education that helps them reach the state’s academic standards and meets their individual needs. 

    UTP also believes that the state must provide assistance, rather than sanctions to those schools that have been labeled low- or under-performing based on state or federal assessments. These schools have the most crowded campuses and classrooms, have more students from low-income families, a higher number of uncredentialed teachers, and a larger number of students still learning to speak English.

    State funding is also needed to support the community colleges and California State Universities, which have the responsibility of training California’s 21st century workforce.

     

    • Tax Cuts Widen Budget Gaps
      When states cut taxes, typically they must make up for the lost revenues by reducing spending, and expenditure cuts tend to reduce any positive impact that tax cuts might have on state economies.
    • Sharing the Burden of Economic Recovery
      With the state facing ongoing yearly deficits of $20 billion, the survival of basic services and a healthy public sector is at stake. To address this looming future, the burden of recovery must be shared fairly — in contrast to the current path by which public services, the poor and education have taken the largest cuts and the middle-class has borne the increased tax burden.

     

    • The Basics of California's School Finance System
      Every summer, the California legislature and the governor decide how much money and how many resources will go to kindergarten – grade 12 public education.
    • Proposition 98: What You Should Know

      Passed by California voters in 1988, Proposition 98 sets a minimum funding guarantee for public education. That amount can vary slightly from year to year but is usually around 40 - 41 percent.

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