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Superintendents Call for Education Funding that Matches State's Economic Power (05/23/2018)
Posted 5/23/18

May 23, 2018Alameda, California – Twenty-one superintendents from across Alameda County joined Alameda County Superintendent L. Karen Monroe in sending a letter yesterday to all six California gubernatorial candidates. The letter, which was addressed to “Our Next Governor,” predicts a “fiscal crisis” in school districts across the state if funding for public schools is not increased and calls for education funding to match the state’s economic power.


The letter acknowledges that state funding increased this year,  but it also notes that escalating costs for employee pensions and unfunded mandates are forcing districts into deficit spending, closing schools, and laying off teachers.


“The children of California deserve better,” the letter begins. “They deserve better than underfunded schools, stretched resources, eliminated programs, and a lack of essential services. They deserve great schools to match the fast-changing, dynamic world in which they will attempt to find their place.”


Currently California ranks 46th in the nation for per pupil spending, 48th in students per staff member, and 49th in students per counselors.


“California is the 6th largest economy in the world,” says AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, who worked with other county leaders to craft the letter. “We cannot continue to be ranked nearly last in all measures of school funding and quality across our nation. It’s time to match our economic power with sufficient education funding. If legislators continue to fail to fund schools adequately, the economic future of California families is at risk. We must do better by families, students, and staff, but we rely upon our legislators to make it right.”


The letter was delivered to the campaigns of Travis Allen, Gavin Newsom, Delaine Eastin, Antonio Villaraigosa, John Chiang, and John Cox yesterday.


“As the superintendents and educators who proudly represent the diverse, vibrant communities of Alameda County, we come directly to you as a candidate for the highest  office in our state, demanding change to  the troubling  narrative of funding inadequacy and to  make public education in our state the top priority,” the superintendents write in their letter. 

“We want you to take responsibility with us for educating the children of California, and we will  not wait quietly for that to happen,” the letter concludes. “We will band together, and we will rally our communities to join us to speak up and speak out. We will support a new governor who shows leadership, one who seeks partnership. And we will loudly oppose anyone who is not willing to make the children of this state their highest priority.”


The full letter is available here.