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California budget: Teachers union takes to the airwaves in budget fight

March 23, 2011 | 10:39 am

As Gov. Jerry Brown has struggled to obtain the Republican support he needs to place taxes on the ballot, the influential California Teachers Assn. is wading into the budget stalemate.

The union began airing a statewide radio ad on Wednesday decrying that more cuts to schools -- and more teacher layoffs -- “means a dead-end for California’s children on the path to success.”

“Imagining a school without the teachers is like imagining breathing without oxygen,” the ad’s narrators say. Sandra Jackson, a spokeswoman for the union, said the ad began airing on 80 radio stations statewide Wednesday morning.

Brown is seeking the support of Republicans in placing a measure on the June ballot to renew several temporary taxes. But that support has not been forthcoming and the governor has warned that without taxes there will need to be deeper cuts to school spending.

Jackson said the union wants Republicans to agree to “put the tax extensions on the ballot in June” to close about half of the state’s roughly $26-billion deficit.

Brown, however, is now exploring ways to place his tax measure before voters without GOP support.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento