"The whole education system across the state is fighting for it's very survival" said California Unified School District Superintendent Kelly Staley. And it could get even worse. Concerned educators and parents met Wednesday in an effort to make their voices heard, stating California Schools, and more importantly, California Students can't take anymore budget cuts. "We are asking that we do what's right by the students of California and in particular, my plea, the students of Chico" Staley added.
Governor Schwarzenegger's budget proposal could make even deeper cuts to already dismal funding provided to California Schools. Tthe proposal suggests cutting 1.5 billion dollars from the minimum fund which is guaranteed towards California Education under proposition 98. Representing roughly 250 dollars for every student. "The education is being cut to a point where it's bad for students, bad for the public" said Chico Unified Teachers Association President John Jenswold.
And it's bad for Chico Schools. Over the past three years drastic cuts have been made, including the closing of four elementary schools, laying off 116 teachers and increasing class sizes. In addition, California Colleges are forced to accept fewer students due to lack of funds. "That makes it tougher on students, they're all competing for those spots to get into schools" Staley said.
The Chico Education Coalition helped organized Wednesdays conference, and is asking all Californians get involved by contacting local legislatures, urging them not to side with the governor's proposed cuts. "Do what they're supposed to do, which is to get a budget to us and protect education" Jenswold said.