Your AFT Guild, Local 1931 is calling for another Blue Thursday this Thursday, 10/22, as an opportunity to let our students know about the upcoming rally on Thursday, October 29th at 3:00 in Balboa Park at the intersection of Park Blvd and President's Way. We have support from faculty, staff, and students from K-12, all the local community colleges, SDSU, CSU San Marcos, and UCSD as well as a wide range of community and religious groups.
The theme of the rally on the 29th is "Fight for California's Future" and we will be marching to the Governor's office to send the message that progressive solutions to the budget crisis can stop the gutting of our state's entire education system and the social contract as a whole. So wear blue this Thursday, 10/22, invite your students, co-workers, friends, and family members to the October 29th rally (PDF attached to print up, pass around, post in your office, etc.), and take a second to educate them all about the state budget crisis.
Key Points on Cuts
Statewide, $15 billion in public education funding reductions over the past two years have resulted in:
*Layoffs of thousands of academic and classified school employees.
*Millions of dollars cut from each K-12 school district increasing class sizes by as much as 35%.
*Community college and university students losing classes, faculty and support staff being laid off (particularly our brothers in sisters in the adjunct faculty ranks who have suffered massive layoffs and are frequently ignored in discussions of cuts).
*Rising student costs and longer waits to graduate.
*Restricted access to educational opportunities for the students who need it the most and can afford the least.
*Billions of dollars being cut from health care and social services for those who need them the most. As education workers we believe that sick and hungry students cannot learn.
Key Points on Funding
Despite the persistent mythology spewed by the Governor and Republicans in the State Senate and Assembly about California's "spending problem," the reality is that California is radically under-funding the nation's largest systems of education. We serve 6.3 million kids in K-12 and 2.5 million adults in community colleges alone. Where do we rank in funding?
*California ranks 45th in the nation in per pupil spending.
*California ranks 48th in the nation in state employees per resident.
Key Points on Taxes
Despite the mantra of the anti-tax zealots who have high-jacked the state budget, taxes are not higher than they've ever been in California.
*In 1993 during the Pete Wilson years, the highest tax bracket in California was 11% of income. Today it is it is 9.3%.
*In 1980, California corporations contributed nearly 15% of the state budget; today they pay 11%.
*The legislature has imposed more than $12 billion in tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations over the past 15 years.
A "No New Taxes" solution will gut our state and kill our future. What can be done?
*Eliminate the 2/3rds majority needed for a revenue increases and end minority rule in California. California is the only state to require a supermajority to pass both a budget and any state tax increase.
*Return the top brackets ($250,000/$500,000 per year income and up) back to 10% and 11% as they were during the early nineties. This would bring in $5 billion per year.
*Re-assess non-residential property (this "split roll" would bring in $3 billion per year)
*Enact a severance tax on oil produced in California (this is something George Bush's Texas does and it would bring in $1.5 billion per year)
*Enact modest taxes on stock transactions and repeal corporate tax loopholes for billions more per year.
Solutions such as these would go a long way toward avoiding the most draconian cuts during the great recession. The Governor's tax panel proposal, on the other hand, would save millionaires $109,000 per year while shifting the tax burden to working families. This at a time when the top 1% of Californians have nearly doubled their share of income from 13% to 25% over the past twenty years. During that time, California has seen an increase in poverty, a shrinking middle class, and a growing gap between the rich and the poor.
So, the choice for California's future is clear. We either save the state for those who can afford it or we fight for a future California where the rich and wealthy corporations pay their fair share and the doors of opportunity remain open for all Californians.
See you this Thursday in blue and at the rally on the 29th at 3:00 in Balboa Park!
If you never got your blue AFT shirt in September, blue AFT shirts are still available at the AFT office (call 619-640-1155 to arrange a time to pick one up).
Last but not least, send us your pictures sporting your AFT blue!