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CSBA, ACSA Join Lawsuit to Ensure Repayment of $12 Billion in Prop. 98 Funds to Schools

June 5, 2009

The California School Boards Association (CSBA) and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) have joined the California Federation of Teachers (CFT)  and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state of California to ensure that nearly $12 billion be repaid to K-14 public education.

The California Legislature suspended Proposition 98, the minimum funding guarantee for education, between the 2007 and 2009 fiscal years.  The lawsuit is necessary because Governor Schwarzenegger is contending that these funding cuts are permanent, ending any obligation on the state to restore funding.  The suit sets forth CSBA, ACSA, CFT and SEIU Local 99’s belief that the state is obligated to restore education funding under the “maintenance factor” provisions of Prop. 98, as amended by Proposition 111.

On top of the multi-billion dollar cuts already inflicted upon schools in the last year, the Governor is now proposing to slash billions more in education funding.  If he’s successful in this effort, by July 1, 2009, public education will have been cut four times in less than 12 months.

“We have to stand up for what’s right and make the state repay schools the money they are rightfully owed,” said CSBA Executive Director Scott P. Plotkin.  “The severe cuts we’ve already endured and general lack of investment in education funding are endangering a whole generation of children.  It’s a shame we have to force the state to follow the law when the future of our students is at stake.”

“As advocates for students, school leaders are doing everything possible to minimize the harm that billions of dollars in budget cuts have forced on our schools.  ACSA has joined in this lawsuit because it will help ensure that Proposition 98’s minimum funding guarantee is protected and schools are repaid money owed under this voter-approved constitutional guarantee," said Bob Wells, executive director of the Association of California School Administrators. 

For more information about the Proposition 98 lawsuit, contact Brittany McKannay at CSBA at (916) 669-3244 or Julie White at ACSA at (916) 225-8144.

Editor's Note: This story is a courtesy of the Association of California School Administrators.