The 2020-2021 state budget was voted on just a week ago, but the fight is far from over. The enacted budget included nothing to address our children’s educational, social and emotional needs, especially amidst the devastation that COVID-19 is spreading in our communities.
With a zero percent increase, the budget leaves school districts exposed to rising costs that they will have to address themselves. Those communities with more wealth may be able to address the rising costs without having to make cuts that hurt schoolchildren. But, our communities, our Black and Brown and low income communities do not have that luxury. They will have to make cuts to be able to cover the rising costs. These cuts mean that they will have to lay off teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, school psychologists, cut back on pre-K programs, and subjects such as Music and Arts.
The pandemic has laid bare the inequities that plague our education system. Instead of providing all students with a high quality education, this budget will ensure that the resource gaps persists and educational racism is perpetuated.
The enacted budget gave the governor the power to make adjustments at three different points during 2020. The legislature has ten days to respond with their own plan. The first date to make adjustments is coming up on April 30th. We need to make sure that legislators know that we expect them to step up and stop any more cuts to education. We need them to realize that the budget they passed is hurting Black, Brown and low income children and communities.
Email your legislators now. Tell them no more cuts.