Because of the state’s inability to create a workable budget, California schools are trying to educate the next generation of students with $20 billion less than they had a few years ago.
This means fewer teachers, bigger classes, and widespread uncertainty about how schools can provide the educated workforce California will need to get back on its feet.
People who care about strengthening California’s education system have resoundingly come out in support of the California Forward Action Fund’s Government Performance and Accountability Act (GPAA). They say, for the state to prosper, California needs to have a school system that works.
The Government Performance and Accountability Act offers a path forward, providing government with a set of tools that will finally stabilize the state’s finances and move more decision-making authority into the hands of local schools, where community leaders know best how to get the job done.
Many have told the Action Fund the provisions in the GPAA that encourage collaboration among local governments and agencies will go a long way toward getting people to work together. This will lead not only for stronger schools, but a holistic improvement including decreased crime, a better jobs climate, better health, and more community engagement.
Here is a list of those who have voiced their support to the California Forward Action Fund for the GPAA.
“I like California Forward’s idea of communities working together by creating Strategic Action Plans. Local communities are more likely to be able to solve their problems than the state and it’s ‘One-size-fits-all’ approach. When local agencies work together, we can avoid duplication and will provide better services. When people work together they can accomplish great things.”
– Carol Robb, Retired Teacher and Former Member, Board of Directors, National Education Association
“It’s not enough just to do our jobs; get a degree and live our lives for ourselves. We have a responsibility to return what we have to our community. Public participation is essential to a vibrant and responsive democracy. When government listens, more people are willing to take an active role in their communities and their government.
California Forward’s Government Performance and Accountability Act will make it easier for people to understand and participate in setting public policy that meets the needs of the whole community.”
– Celina Rodriguez, Forward Thinker and assistant coordinator, Davis Bridge Foundation
“I was delighted to participate in the grassroots, community discussions California Forward initiated around reforming government in our state.”
– Scott Svonkin, Los Angeles Community College Board Member
At the 2011 California School Boards Association conference, executive director Vernon Billy lauded the “three-days-in-print,” provision in California Forward’s proposed Government Performance and Accountability Act – requiring all legislation be available to the public for three days prior to the Legislature taking action. He said it would have benefited school boards last June, when AB 114 was drafted and passed “in the dead of night.” AB 114 temporarily suspended board authority to prepare for potential cuts when adopting their 2011-12 annual budgets.
– Vernon Billy, executive director, California School Boards Association*
“As an advocate for education, I appreciate the efforts of California Forward to reverse the vicious cycle we are in, and replace it with the virtuous cycle which promotes education, health and the economy, while reducing poverty and crime. I support the Government Performance and Accountability Act, and it’s effort to fix our state.”
– Gil Navarro, Trustee, San Bernardino County Board of Education
“The current governance system is broken. It lacks focus on results; it’s not transparent or accountable; and it is too complex.”
– Larry Fondation, Green Dot Public Schools
“I am struck that two generations coming out of a Great Depression and a World War were generous to education from kindergarten to college. Now our state is rich because of the vision of previous generations but we are letting education collapse. We need governance and fiscal reforms to allow voters to support education. Shame on a state with Cadillac prisons and jalopy schools. For too long the schools have been dropping in per pupil spending while prisons are Number One in per prisoner expenditures in the nation. I know no one who would make that choice consciously.
It is more important than ever to develop more strategic thinking about budgeting in CA. The reforms proposed in the Government Performance and Accountability Act do just that.”
– Delaine Eastin, former California Superintendent of Public Instruction*