Here are some excerpts of responses to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for 2014-15:
“I thank the governor for making education a top priority in the budget. It means a strong starting point for the coming months’ conversations, but work remains to be done. I look forward to discussing with Gov. Brown universal transitional kindergarten – opening the door to this early learning opportunity for every 4-year-old in California. We must continue our support for schools as they make the switch to the Common Core State Standards, a smart choice for preparing our children for college and careers, and one that will benefit from professional development, improved technology, and new materials.”
– State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
“The big question is, can the governor hold strong against the spending demands made by his fellow Democrats. Judging by the way they want to spend money, you’d think California was booming. Sadly, that’s not the case.”
– Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, Senate Minority Leader
“I appreciate the governor’s aggressive approach to more than double the reserve and pay down debt even more quickly than we had hoped. At the same time, we must invest in the people of California, especially those living in the economic margins.”
– Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento
“We’re pleased to be discussing the prospect of funding increases rather than the type of severe cuts that public schools suffered as a result of the Great Recession. The governor’s latest proposal is a significant step toward providing the resources that our students and schools need.”
– Long Beach Unified Superintendent Chris Steinhauser
“In typical fashion, Gov. Brown has included plenty to like and plenty to dislike in his budget proposal. I am pleased he plans to use some of this year’s surplus to reduce long-term debt and to make education a priority by investing in higher education and by paying back the money owed to schools after years of cash deferrals. However, beyond that, I wish he had allocated more to reserves. A $1.6 billion deposit into the Rainy Day Fund – a mere 1 percent of the total budget – is simply inadequate.”
– Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, vice chair of Assembly Education Committee
“In K-12 education, the governor has focused only on paying off deferrals and re-distributing existing funds instead of addressing the central barrier to student success: poverty in and around our schools. We need to connect health and human services with the educational system. We need to provide critical resources including health professionals, mental health services and after school opportunities like open libraries if we truly want to protect California’s future. With economic disparity more profound than at any point since the Great Depression, this is a time to be bold, not cautious.”
– Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers
“As the Legislature considers the governor’s proposal, it should also assess how to ensure that this funding is used effectively at the local level to close the opportunity and achievement gaps that impact low income students, students of color and English Learners. It should also consider whether the additional funding is sufficient to not only fully jump start Local Control Funding Formula implementation, but also the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.”
– Arun Ramanathan, executive director, The Education Trust–West
“This is positive and much needed news for California’s schools and students. This major investment will help move more school districts towards full restoration of pre-recession funding levels, providing school district leaders and board members the opportunity to restore and invest in programs that best serve its students to achieve academic success.”
– Josephine Lucey, president of the California School Boards Association and Cupertino Union School District board member
“We support the governor’s emphasis on local decision-making and allowing local school communities to determine the best use of funds for local students. California’s 6 million students will take new state mandated tests, using new technology, to measure their progress on the new Common Core standards this spring. We remain concerned that enormous disparity exists when it comes to teacher preparedness as well as student technology equity and access among schools and districts. In the months ahead, ACSA will be working with the governor and lawmakers to address these additional needs.”
– Wes Smith, executive director of the Association of California School Administrators
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