For Immediate Release: May 11, 2017
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Statement from the California Federation of Teachers

On Governor Brown’s 2017-2018 Budget Revision

On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown presented his revised budget proposal for 2017-2018, and the CFT recognizes the concerns that Gov. Brown has with ongoing pressure coming out of Washington.

The budget increases funding for the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 education, as well as funding for community colleges. Thursday’s announced revision also restores $500 million in preschool funding, something that had been put on “pause” in January. We applaud these advances.

We oppose the suspension of Prop 98, a mandate by the voters of California to make public education in California a priority, specifically K-14 education. Because the people of California passed Prop 55 to continue the millionaires’ tax, the state is able to modestly increase funding for Prop 98. Without it, the Governor would be recommending to cut billions from education instead of suspending it. The constitution states that we should build our education budget to be in the top 10 of states on educational funding. The tax extension helped us from slipping even further behind, but there is more the state and the governor can do to live up to that constitutional requirement.

We have made significant progress over the last few years in restoring funding for California’s public education system, but there is more to done. We are proud to have one of the most progressive tax systems in the country, but we also believe that more could be done to make our system less volatile and help us reach our aspirational goals. This starts with exploring additional revenue measures such as commercial property tax reform, an untapped source and a fair way to provide funding for services for all Californians.

Without additional, stable revenue coming from property tax reform, California’s neediest communities will be put in the constant and untenable position of having to decide between education, healthcare and other vital needs. We can and must do better than that.

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The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. More info: www.cft.org.

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