(SANTA CLARITA, CA) – With critical budget decisions expected to be made in Sacramento in the next three weeks, parents and community members paid a “home visit” to Assemblymember Smyth office today to tell their legislator how budget cuts already made have taken a heart-wrenching toll on their families and the communities Smyth represents.
Saying Valley families have already suffered too much from extreme cuts, Smyth neighbors and constituents asked him to join the many diverse voices – from teachers and parents to business owners and law enforcement officials — who have put aside their differences to support maintaining existing revenues in order to protect schools, seniors, and public safety from more cuts.
The group of Santa Clarita area residents detailed the impact budget cuts already made have taken on their families and communities, noting that they are representative of thousands more families locally and across California who have been hit from every direction:
- Under cuts already signed into law, 43,000 seniors and people with disabilities in California may lose access to the home care they need to stay safely at home
- Cuts made earlier this year will mean 60,000 children will lose the child care their families need in order to keep working.
- 19,000 teachers have just received pink slips, and may not return to school this fall if existing revenues expire July 1.
If existing revenues are not maintained – the approach some legislators prefer — $10 billion more in state budget cuts would pull the rug out from under vulnerable seniors, slash funding for law enforcement even as crime is rising, and chop up to a month off our kids’ school year.
- An all-cuts budget this year will force billions in additional cuts to California schools, which will result in tens of thousands of additional layoffs and shorten the school year in many districts by as much as 30 days.
- Locally, five school districts in the Santa Clarita area stand to lose $764 per student if we fail to maintain existing revenues. This amounts to the loss of almost $23,000 for a class of 30 students. In all, cuts to the school districts will total:
— Over $7.75 million for the Saugus Union Elementary School District;
— $5.2 million for the Newhall School District;
— $4.2 million for the Sulphur Springs School District;
— $2.4 million for the Castaic Union School District; and
— $1.3 million for the Acton/Agua Dulce Unified School District.
- When our public safety resources are already stretched to the limit, another $10 billion in state budget cuts would mean thousands of police officers, firefighters and paramedics would lose their jobs. That’s why Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and other public safety officials have urged Republican lawmakers to support maintaining existing revenues.
“Chopping a whole month off the school year for K-12 students and turning young people away from higher education is no way to build a strong economy,” said Lori Christian, a local parent. We are urging Assemblymember Smyth to stand up for California’s future and stop the extreme cuts to education.”
“College is the gateway to a better future,” said Patti Skinner Sulpizio, mother of a college freshman. “Making deeper cuts will put our future in jeopardy.”
“Another ten billion in state budget cuts this year would mean thousands of police officers, paramedics, and firefighters will be laid off across California,” said James Harris, a probation crew instructor “We’re counting on Assemblymember Smyth to join families, business leaders, teachers, students, as well as public safety officials who say stand up for California and stop these extreme cuts.”