Awareness, Service, & Action · My People

California Education Crisis

My cousin, an elementary school teacher in my home county, forwarded along an email to me today. The issues presented in the email were issues that I am all too familiar with as I also have a roommate with a Masters in Education, friends that are teachers, and a sister currently studying to become a teacher. In my quest to use this blog to bring awareness to causes close to my heart, I told my cousin I’d put the email here. As I don’t know the author of the email personally, I’m going to highlight portions of it in italics. My own commentary will continue in normal type. It is necessary that we prevent California’s politicians from:

Undermining Class Size Reduction by offering full flexibility on categorical programs.
—The governor’s proposal for complete and permanent “flexible” use of all state categorical funds would allow local districts to eliminate the state’s successful Class Size Reduction program and won’t save the state one dime. Eliminating CSR is a giant step backward for our kids and will hurt ethnic minority and low-income students the most. Giving students individual attention is not possible when there are 40 students to every teacher. Teachers, parents and students get it. Why can’t our lawmakers? “Flexibility” means no accountability and no guarantee that education money will be spent in the classroom

As a former public school student in the state of California, I can attest to the problems with having 40+ students per teacher. The law that reduced class sizes didn’t come into effect until I was far beyond elementary school and the law does not extend to secondary school. As a high school student, I often felt like just another number in the herd of cattle going from class to class. Our classes were over crowded and often times there were classes without enough desks for the students. By the end of the first semester, my sister’s own Spanish teacher DID NOT know her name. While I personally think crowded classes aren’t an excuse, they certainly are a contributing factor.

Illegally manipulating Prop. 98 (the minimum school funding law) so the state will never pay back more than $7 billion owed to our schools.

Honestly, I’m not too familiar with Prop. 98. So, feel free to Google it. Let me know what you find. 

Cutting $10.8 billion from schools and colleges over the next 18 months.

This is disasterous. I know so many people that are praying to keep their jobs and so many more that are trying to find jobs. People with credentials, Masters, and certificates to teach bilingual education that CANNOT FIND JOBS teaching in California. We NEED them. The STUDENTS need them. And as my sister works towards her own degree at a public college in California, these cuts mean higher tuition, fees, and other possible setbacks. I know that at one point her school was seriously considering closing because of costs.

They could be voting on these destructive measures any day now, since the governor and Legislature are required to reach a budget solution by February 2, 2009. This deadline was set when the governor called a special session under the Proposition 58 rule.

Step One

Tell your legislator to fund our schools, uphold Prop. 98, and protect the Class Size Reduction program.
If you’d rather e-mail your state leaders, click here.

Step Two

Tell them to make sure they include funding for our public schools and community colleges in any Economic Stimulus package.
If you’d rather e-mail your congressional leaders, click here

Thank you for lending your voice to the fight for our students and public schools. To find out more about the state budget crisis and what CTA is doing to advocate for more funding visit

David A. Sanchez
CTA President

Please pass this information along. Please call, email, whatever it takes. The State of California is supposed to be working in our best interest. This is clearly not in our best interest.

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