Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Alameda, will host a press conference Monday morning at a Concord middle school. At his side will be school teachers who got pink slips in the mail as part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget cuts to education and other state programs. (Photo is of Perata at a recent presser in Marin County on the same issue.)
It’s part of Perata’s budget roadshow where he is calling for tax hikes rather than what he views as Draconian budget cuts to California’s schools, which already rank near the bottom of the nation in per pupil spending.
The governor and the state Legislature face a $16 billion budget deficit next year but the two parties remain sharply divided over whether to solve the problem solely with cuts, raise taxes or a combination of both. Republicans oppose tax hikes and although Democrats hold a majority in the Senate and Assembly, they lack the numbers to secure the required two-thirds vote to pass a budget or raise revenues.
Here’s what Perata’s office sent out a few minutes ago:
Senate Democrats Join Local School Employees Who Have Received Layoff Notices to Discuss School Funding and the State Budget
(CONCORD) – Senate Democrats will join local teachers, school employees and education officials on Monday at a press conference to discuss the effects of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget cuts on schools.
Last week, pink slips went out to an estimated 14,000 teachers statewide.
Schwarzenegger proposed in January slashing $4.8 billion from education funding this year. That could mean laying one-third of the state’s teachers, reducing the school year by four weeks or increasing class sizes by 35 percent.
In recent years, California has consistently been ranked among the country’s 10 worst states in providing education funding. Budget cuts could drop the state to last in the nation.
Senate Democrats are committed to putting California’s classrooms first. Schools must succeed if California wants a competent workforce and a strong economy.
Classroom results are the product of a whole network of dedicated employees, from school bus drivers and custodians to school counselors and teachers. Senate Democrats have pledged to do everything possible to protect education funding and improve classroom results.
Senate President pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland)
Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro)
Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto)
Senator Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch)
Local school employees who have received pink slips
9:30 a.m., Monday, March 17, 2008
Glenbrook Middle School
2351 Olivera Road
Concord, CA 94520