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Union leaders ask governor not to cut education funds

January 5, 2010 |  3:25 pm

State labor leaders held a conference call today to urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger not to propose education funding cuts when he releases his budget later this week.

Over the last two years, the state has cut education funding by nearly $17.8 billion, according to the California Department of Education. School districts have since laid off teachers, increased class sizes and reduced programs, and many public colleges have had to hike fees and cap enrollment.

"Public education in California is being dismantled," said Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Assn.

Officials from the American Federation of Teachers Local 1521, California State University Employees Union, Council of University of California Faculty Asss., and the Service Employees International Union Local 99 also participated in the call.

The governor's proposed budget is scheduled to be released Friday.

-- Jason Song