May 11, 2011
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Urges California
to Address Financial Emergency in Public Schools
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson marked California Day of the Teacher by joining his fellow educators at the State Capitol in urging California to address the financial emergency facing public schools.
"As a teacher, I'm proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues today in urging California's leaders to act now to address the financial emergency facing our schools," Torlakson said. "Across the state, educators know we are at a tipping point for California's future. The best way to honor teachers today is to keep them on the job—and once again provide them the resources they need to help our students succeed."
The week he took office in January, Torlakson declared a state of financial emergency in California's schools, which have sustained $18 billion in budget cuts over the last three years. The cuts have dropped the California's per-pupil investment in education below virtually every other state, and put 110 school districts statewide in financial jeopardy.
Torlakson has strongly supported proposals to extend a series of temporary tax measures to forestall even deeper additional cuts to education. While Governor Brown and a majority of lawmakers in the Assembly and State Senate support these extensions, they have languished without bipartisan support.
Torlakson also asked the public to take a moment today to honor the state's 299,666 educators during California Day of the Teacher. The Association of Mexican American Educators, Inc. (AMAE) and the California Teachers Association (CTA) are cosponsors of the event.
The AMAE has chosen as its 2011 theme: "You inspire me." The CTA has chosen as its 2011 theme: "Great teaching lasts a lifetime."