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Education Lobbyists Put Pressure On Brown

As a budget deal at the State Capitol remains elusive, California education lobby is increasing the pressure on lawmakers to send Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax extensions to voters.

The lobbying textbook looks like this: morning rally outside the Capitol – for the media, of course – then go inside and spread out to meet with as many lawmakers as possible.That’s what several hundred principals, superintendents, union leaders and other education groups have been up to. Somer Harding and Colleen Robertson are principals at Ventura County elementary schools.

“The first priority to me is to let the people be able to decide. I think that’s a simple solution,” Harding said.

“Obviously, we’re willing to take cuts. We have taken a lot of cuts. But at some point, you just say, enough is enough,” Robertson said.

If the governor’s proposed tax extensions don’t make the ballot, many districts could have to shorten their school years to balance their budgets – on top of tens of thousands of layoffs and increased class sizes, according to State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

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