June 28, 2012
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Issues
Statement on Cuts to Education Budget
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement today on the final state budget:
"Preparing California's young people for the future—all the way from early childhood through high school—will be more difficult under our state's continuing budget problems. As Superintendent, I can sympathize with the difficult decisions faced by the Governor and the Legislature—but, as an educator, I am saddened today. The simple truth is that schools need more revenue if they are going to begin restoring some of what billions of dollars of cuts have already taken from them and from their students.
"In the budget passed by the Legislature, early child care funding was cut significantly—and then cut even more with the Governor's line item veto. Two other vetoes that disturbed me were the elimination of both AVID funding and the Early Mental Health Initiative. These are programs that aid our students, prepare them to succeed in school, and then help them graduate ready for careers and college. The final budget also allows districts to cut as many as 30 days of instructional time over the next two years—which amounts to a combined potential loss of the equivalent of one million years of schooling for California's 6.3 million public school kids.
"And still, our schools—even in the face of this continuing do-more-with-less approach—have found a way to raise graduation rates this year. To me, that shows they not only need and deserve our support—they have earned it."