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School Boards Association Withholds 'Legislator of the Year Award' Due to State's Draconian Cuts to Schools

November 13, 2009

After consideration of the $12.5 billion in cuts to education enacted this year, and additional delays in the allocation of billions of dollars of school funds, the California School Boards Association (CSBA) decided last week not to grant an Outstanding Legislator of the Year award for 2009.

The decision was enacted by a unanimous vote of CSBA’s legislative committee, following a comprehensive analysis of each nominee’s 2009 voting record on budget-related bills and key policy legislation.  The committee felt the Legislature failed to stand up for California’s students and schools when they needed it most.

“Sure, there are some legislators who have done good things for education, and others that we admire for their efforts,” said Frank Pugh, President-elect of the California School Boards Association, and chair of CSBA’s Legislative Committee.  “But for crying out loud, schools have been cut by $2,100 per student.  We’d be nuts to present this award to anybody in a year when the cuts are going to have detrimental effects on an entire generation of students.  We just have to draw the line somewhere.”

CSBA President Paula S. Campbell added, “There’s a reason that this association and other local leaders have been so focused on long-term state fiscal reform.  California has to figure out a way to create a system that does more than add layer upon layer of cuts to a public education system that is already woefully underfunded.  Until that happens, this association sees no choice but to hold the Legislature accountable for its actions.”

California School Boards Association’s OLY award was created to recognize the hard work of assembly members and senators that devote extensive efforts to the development and success of California’s schools. But the collective failure of California’s elected leaders in Sacramento to keep education funding a priority has left schools across the state with no choice but to make devastating cuts.

Source:   California School Boards Association