Five Million Californians Call for June Vote to Save Schools: GOP Refuses to Listen
Addressing Governor Brown, the State Assembly and Senate, parent activists urged fast action:
“Let the public vote on a tax extension measure in a June Special Election.” – Hoi Yung Poon, Parents for Great Education (PfGE)
“As a lifelong Republican and Californian, I urge California Republican officials to live up to their vows to do the people’s business. Do not distort words. Give the voters who elected you some credit, put the continuance of existing taxes to a vote of the people, not to special interests from out of state.” -- Rauly Butler, banker and PfGE member, Orinda, California.
Last week more than 58,000 Californians and 49 state grassroots groups (representing 5 million members statewide) sent letters letting their legislators know that they are ready to vote to save our kids and save our schools. We can’t allow worst-case budget cuts to happen. The Sacramento Bee reports that conservative billionaires from another state, the Koch brothers, are trying to interfere in the business of California and prevent the June vote with an arm-twisting video aimed at undecided holdouts.
“Our public schools are at risk of losing significantly more funding--an additional $5 billion will be cut from K-12 if the revenue measures do not pass. That's approximately $625-$900 per student. This is a critical time for our children’s education and for the future of California. We must have the opportunity to vote,” said Hoi Yung Poon, (PfGE).
"The hard-working families, businesses, teachers and students of Central Coast Senate District 15 have always had strong support for public education. All our Central Coast voters from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara understand fully the consequences of an all-cuts budget. Respect our voters and our democracy. Let voters decide if they are willing to renew a $250.00 total tax per person to preserve the future of public schools for our children," said Cynthia Hawthorne, a school board member and a parent in Santa Cruz.
In November, 2010, California voters rejected a cuts-only approach to the budget. Now a handful of legislators could make the difference to a June vote, or continue standing in the way. These holdouts enjoyed educations at California public schools and universities like UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara, and now they want to pull up the ladder of opportunity behind them. Instead of listening to constituents, California state legislators are listening to rich oil men based in Kansas who have already meddled in state politics in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio.
"I've personally delivered 100 letters from students of all grades to our legislators in Sacramento. They want books, science lab equipment, smaller classes, more time with the teacher, restored library hours, art & music, field trips and more instructional time. They're asking for a 21st century education and we are going back to a 19th century education. We need to stop the subversive influence of non-elected outside special interests over the Republicans," said Kimberley Beatty, San Diego parent and a PfGE member.
GOP members of the Assembly and Senate: stop choking off progress in our state. You didn't get the message in 2010 and you still don't get it. More than 5 million Californians say we want to vote in June. We want great schools for our kids, and we're willing to keep taxes at current levels to do it. Make us choose between your cuts-only approach and our kids, and we'll choose our kids every time.
We're Ready to Vote. Now Stand Aside So We Can
This link contains a list of 49 organization logos sheet, that was circulated to legislators last week.
Cynthia Liu and Parents for Great Education