This week, Governor Newsom and the state legislators reached an agreement on California’s 2020-21 budget. It rolls-back cuts that were initially proposed for K-12 schools and community colleges, but we still have a lot to do to ensure an equitable budget. Here are highlights of what it means for Local 99 members:
The good news:
• Increased funding for the Summer Bridge Fund. This means the state will match contributions $1 for $1. Those of you who received letters from school districts saying that the state would not be doing the full $1 match next summer can rest assured that there is funding for the full amount. Districts should be notifying you of the change soon.
• Layoff protections for workers in food services, transportation and maintenance. We applaud legislators for recognizing the important contributions of these essential workers. But we know there are many more positions critical to students and families. The new budget deal does advise school districts that any layoffs should be the last recourse. You can bet that we’ll all be taking a stand if districts move to make any cuts.
But there’s more work to do.
While the news is better than expected, this budget only puts a band-aid on funding problems that need real fixes.
The COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustices have demonstrated that we need equitable, long-term investment not just in education, but also in health care and other public services. Black and Brown communities, in particular, have been disproportionately impacted by exposure to COVID-19 and job loss. We need our elected leaders to fund bold changes to lift-up our communities.
That’s why we’re calling on leaders to reverse the decades-long disinvestment in our communities. Real systemic change is impossible without the revenue to fund it.
Here’s what you can do:
Pass the Schools & Communities First Act in November. This will close a loophole that has allowed corporations to get away with not paying their fair share of property taxes for decades.
Urge legislators to put up a plan for taxing billionaires and corporations. California is the richest state in the nation. Corporations have continued to profit, even as millions of workers have lost their jobs. Help send a strong message to legislators by joining us on the Car Caravan for Equity on Thursday, July 2 at 9am. Meet in your car @ Aiso Parking Garage (101 Judge John Aiso St, LA, CA 90012)
Learn more at our Zoom “Regional” Membership Meeting on Tuesday, June 30 at 4pm. Register here.
Our unity is our strength.