BURLINGAME – Eric Heins, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association (CTA), issued this statement today about the governor’s May Revise to the 2018-19 state budget on the heels of California’s new ranking as the fifth largest economy in the world:
“Educators welcome the good news today and appreciate Gov. Jerry Brown for his resolve and long-standing commitment to California’s students and neighborhood public schools, colleges and universities. It truly is heartwarming to witness his legacy—one that turned things around for California when experiencing our darkest moments. California was in the depth of a recession when he took office, yet through his leadership and collaboration with educators, working families, students, parents and community partners engaged in efforts to pass Proposition 30 in 2012 followed by the work we all did to pass Prop. 55 in 2016. In large part these funds are behind the increased revenues leading to the surplus we have today.
“Today, the state is looking at a $9 billion surplus by the end of the fiscal year, $78.4 billion for K-12, a fully funded Local Control Funding Formula two years ahead of schedule, funding for higher education and much-needed funding for health and human services which begins to address the homelessness crisis impacting our students and our communities. Also significant is the certification of Proposition 98 minimum guarantee and the continuous appropriation of the LCFF, including COLA. This creates certainty for educators and students in future years.
“We appreciate the one-time funding for much-needed beginning teacher induction during this critical teacher shortage. We must do everything possible to attract and retain the most qualified to our profession. The increases in funding for Special Education, school safety, the state preschool program, childcare, and healthcare for low-income families are also critically important.
“California’s educators and students did yeoman’s work during the tough economic times in our state, but we worked together to ensure our students had the best education possible. California ranks 44th in the nation in per pupil funding but we’re on the right track, trending up. We will continue to work with the governor and legislators as they deliberate on the final budget agreement in the coming weeks. We continue to have some concerns about a few items outlined in the proposal such as an online community college and the proposed funding for the vital UC and CSU systems. We appreciate the contributions in the budget proposal and May Revise but know we can do better. All students deserve the opportunity for higher education as California needs an educated workforce to fuel our economy.”