Our employees have agreed to concessions year after year, and PPIE (Pleasanton Partnerships In Education Foundation) and PSEE (Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation) have helped raise funds to help restore some programs. When budget cuts continue as they have, the result is cumulative and after cutting $20 million, the impact is severe and ongoing.
The governor's proposed budget released this month is based on a tax initiative on the November ballot that if not passed will result in midyear cuts for the 2012-13 school year. Districts will need to assess the risk of a midyear cut, make an informed estimate of the potential exposure, and plan accordingly.
For PUSD, the risk equates to approximately $5.5 million dollars for 2012-13. The question we are asked is, "Could the district wait until November to make cuts if taxes do not pass?" The answer is no. Due to statutory timelines for layoffs, we are unable to wait until November and hope that the governor's tax initiative passes. We must base our budget on facts and not hope.
The state budget process lends itself to turbulence and uncertainty. In January of each year, we hear the governor's proposed budget. In May, this forecast is revised by the governor. Before July each year the state budget is to be approved by the Legislature. Although we were fortunate and last year the budget was actually approved on time, in the previous year, the state allowed itself an extension and the budget was not approved until 100 days later! We, as school districts, are not afforded these sorts of extensions.
We take proposing and making cuts very seriously, as this impacts our students' lives as well as our employees and families. We truly appreciate our community's passion and support for public education. I believe managing the education budget as has been done in California is nothing short of aggressive neglect of public education. We must work together to advocate for our students and for public education by actively seeking long-term solutions and changes in public policies that have resulted in such drastic cuts to education.
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