Hittleman, Marty


President, California Federation of Teachers

Educator’s Response: Budget Cuts Mean Thousands of Teachers Lost

By Marty Hittelman
California Federation of Teachers

As President of California Federation of Teachers (CFT), I vow to continue CFT’s campaign, the “Fight for California’s Future,” as an alternative to the governor’s position that we have no choice but to further reduce important social programs. Lost tax revenue due to loopholes for the rich and large corporations is costing the state's general fund billions of dollars every year. Governor Schwarzenegger is leaving a clear legacy – a legacy of saying one thing and doing the opposite. In January, he claimed he was not going to cut education, and in May he proposes to cut it by $2 billion. How does that protect education?

The Time to March for California's Future Is Now

By Marty Hittelman
California Federation of Teachers

It is no longer enough to say that "Sacramento politics is dysfunctional," or that the political and legislative processes in the Capitol are stymied by "partisan gridlock." These first impressions have some basis in reality but don't adequately address California's real problems. These impressions only lead to a feeling of inevitability, cynicism, and despair.

What we need in public discussion is a clear picture of the problem and then a plan to fix it. And we all need a sign of hope that change will come. That's why, on March 5, we begin a "March for California's Future." The March will start with a group of public employees who will walk from Bakersfield to Sacramento. By April 21 the March will swell, as it reaches Sacramento, to many thousands.

Educators respond to Governor and Launch “Fight for California’s Future”

By Marty Hittelman
California Federation of Teachers

Governor Schwarzenegger is leaving a clear legacy – a legacy of saying one thing and doing the opposite. On Wednesday, he claims he is not going to cut education; but on Friday he proposes to reduce the Proposition 98 guarantee by $892 million in 2009-10 and $1.5 billion in 2010-11. The governor proposes to eliminate the sales tax on gasoline (which helps fund Proposition 98) and increase the fuel excise tax (which does not help fund Proposition 98). How does that protect education?

The $892 million reduction in 2009-10 is more than the maximum that California could receive over four years in the Race to the Top funding, which the governor claims is so important to California. Of course, the more than $17 billion in cuts to education over the last two years dwarfs both of these amounts.  Schwarzenegger is using the budget crisis to promote some of his favorite issues, none of which would benefit the majority of people in California.

Teaching Reforms Should be Based on Research and Experience

By Marty Hittelman
California Federation of Teachers

The State Assembly Education Committee is currently considering legislation regarding the federal “Race to the Top” education funding program. The Legislature should not pass a bad law just to compete for federal funding. In a year that Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature have made billions of dollars in catastrophic cuts to school funding, it is ironic that the Legislature is rushing to adopt bad policy to compete for a relative pittance in federal funding.

The money offered by the federal government will not begin to replace what has been taken away. Legislators are rushing to make permanent changes without a solid basis in facts or research in return for the possibility of three years of funding.

“Race To The Top:” Feds Demand Too Much, Too Soon, For Too Little

MartyHittelman2.jpgBy Marty Hittelman
President
California Federation of Teachers

The California Federation of Teachers has a number of serious concerns regarding Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s proposed “Race to the Top” competition for state education funding. The proposed regulations for federal funding would require changes that could harm California students, are not based on research, and won't turn around struggling schools. There are two rounds of application, and no need to be panicked by the governor into rushing into the first one without proper discussion. Following are concerns, excerpted from a letter I wrote to the Education Secretary. For the complete text of the letter, go to www.cft.org.

Student Data

Suspending Prop. 98 Would Permanently Rob Billions From Public School Students

MartyHittelman2.jpgBy Marty Hittelman
President
California Federation of Teachers

Repealing corporate tax breaks makes more sense

To address the ongoing state budget deficit, the governor and legislative Republicans have proposed suspending Proposition 98, the state’s minimum school funding law, so they can cut several billion additional dollars from school funding. The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) strongly opposes suspending Prop. 98.