June 2, 2011 – In Fresno, three generations had one message for Senator Tom Berryhill: Stand up for our children’s future, and stop the extreme cuts.
A news conference in front of Berryhill’s office featured dozens of grandparents, parents and children who detailed the impact that existing cuts have already had on Central Valley classrooms. Fresno County schools have already faced cuts of more than $1000 per student, and face additional cuts of $139 million next year. In addition to larger class sizes, schools may be forced to cut short short the school year by up to 30 days.
Fresno area senior Grace Solis says it’s time to stop punishing kids.
“Our kids didn’t create the budget mess in Sacramento, but they’ve sure been paying for it. Classes are bigger, so it’s harder for them to learn. Music, sports, and extra-curricular activities have been cut, so their educational experience is not well-rounded. As bad as these cuts are, if Senator Berryhill stands by and lets critical funding for our schools expire, these cuts will grow even worse.”
Thresa Ward, a Fresno grandparent of three, agreed.
“My grandkids deserve better than to be packed into classrooms like sardines. But that’s the direction California is headed if we don’t stop the cuts right now.”