Press Release

OAKLAND, CA (July 2, 2009) “The Governor’s recommendation to suspend the minimum funding guarantee of Proposition 98 is a crippling blow to an already wounded system of education in the state of California.

What’s more, this recommendation flies in the face of the peoples’ will.  Californians enacted Proposition 98 in 1988 understanding the integral connection between a quality education and the quality of our state.  Proposition 98 is the safety net that ensures even in times of budgetary difficulty – there is still some pot of money focused on the state’s promise to deliver a quality education to our students.  Suspending Proposition 98 is a revocation of that promise and the deliverance of an IOU.   Sadly, it is an IOU that far too many students will leave our schools without ever being able to cash.

To be sure, this action will impact all students in California but its devastation will be most felt by our most vulnerable students.  Once again we will short-change low-income students and students of color – many of whom are already languishing from a lack of resources and investment.  In short, we are guaranteeing that far too many of these students will move from the halls of our school houses to the halls of the welfare office.

For years, California has led the nation in standards and eloquently spewed the rhetoric of high expectations.  What good are high standards if we don’t give schools what they need to ensure our students reach them? And what good is rhetoric if all it delivers is an empty promise of a bright future?

Yes, we are in the worst economic crisis of our generation and yes, cuts have to be made, but when will the Governor understand that we cannot balance the budget on the backs of our students without breaking the backbone of our state?”

Linda Murray, Acting Executive Director
The Education Trust – West