SCTA Organizing Committee Weekly Update
Week of April 9, 2012
“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
California’s public schools already have lost over 20 billion dollars in funding over the past few years and are set to lose another $4.8 billion next year unless Governor Brown can successfully get his education tax initiative on the ballot and passed byCaliforniavoters in November. What does this all mean for SCTA members?
We begin by revisiting the dimensions of the budget crisis facing Sacramento City USD.
The most challenging economic crisis of our lifetimes sees our District facing a potential $43 million budget deficit in 2012-2013. The budget has two distinct parts and requires different types of action by all of us.
The first piece is seen in the “first interim” budget passed by the District in February in response to a projected $28 million “structural” deficit. That proposed budget includes severe cuts to programs and staff, as reflected in the 389 lay-off notices to SCTA members that the District issued on March 15th. SCTA, with the support of its members, will continue fighting against wasteful spending on outside consultants and advocating for school closures/consolidations. We insist that the school board must act to address its over-spending problem and believe it is our duty to hold school board members accountable for their role in this crisis. At the same time, the SCTA Bargaining Committee is working hard to return our pink-slipped members to their school sites as quickly as possible.
The second part of the budget crisis is where the Governor’s tax initiative comes in.
If the tax initiative fails, Sacramento City USD will see a further $15 million reduction in funding for the 2012-2013 school year due to a state cut in Average Daily Attendance spending. This reduction in funding will result in even more severe hardships for SCTA members and the students and families we serve and will likely extend for years to come.
What can be done?
Governor Brown needs 807,615 valid signatures by registered voters by late April/early May to get his education tax initiative on the ballot. Governor Brown’s education tax initiative would hike the state sales tax by a quarter-cent per dollar for the next four years and create a graduated surcharge on incomes of more than $250,000 that would last seven years.
How can you help?
SCTA is asking members at all school sites to gather at least 20 signatures for Governor Brown’s education tax initiative over the next week. SCTA/CTA will provide a brief training to your site representatives at this Thursday’s Rep Council meeting on how to gather the signatures and provide the materials to gather signatures. Your site representative will have the petitions available by Friday.
We can do this. We need to rally behind Governor Brown’s education tax initiative to prevent further cuts to public education.
The first step is to get the needed 807,615 signatures that must be gathered by early May. By law, an initiative must have collected sufficient valid signatures at least 131 days before Election Day — that’s June 28. But to hit that date, the Secretary of State’s office is already suggesting that the second week of May is probably the de facto deadline for actually submitting signatures to elections officials. That means CTA and its statewide petition management team must have petitions collected by the end of April.
Collecting 20 signatures per school site is easy to do. Talk to your neighbors, your friends, parents of your students, and people in your community to gather signatures. But we need to work fast. To ensure all deadlines are met, we need petitions back to SCTA’s office by April 20th.
Together SCTA members can make a big difference. Together we can stop the reduction in public education funding. Together we help raise much needed funds forCaliforniaschools.