In the May Revise to the State Budget, announced last week, the Governor adjusted the February budget to close the gap that has emerged because tax revenues have continued to decline. He also wanted to provide a second set of estimates (to show the additional cuts that would be needed if the May 19 propositions fail).
This Contra Costa Times article summarizes the cuts to education: Web Link
- Even if the measures on Tuesday's ballot pass, the state will have to reduce education funding by $3 billion. There would be teacher layoffs, a shorter school year by five days and larger class sizes.
- If the key ballot measures fail, another $2.3 billion would be taken from K-12 schools, bringing the total reductions to $5.3 billion and cutting the school year by 7.5 days.
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction was very clear in his reaction to the proposed budget cuts: (Source: Web Link )
"The two budget proposals the Governor released today offer a choice between devastating and horrific cuts to public schools. I am heartsick at the prospect that public schools in California are being asked to absorb between $800 million and $1.4 billion in the final month of the traditional school year, and then an additional $1.6 billion to $4.2 billion in the next school year. If approved, these proposed cuts would be added to the $11.6 billion in cuts to schools approved last February.
"Cuts of this magnitude will have immediate negative impacts in every school in our state.... I am gravely concerned that these devastating cuts will interrupt our progress in improving student achievement. I am also worried that cuts this deep to California's public schools will jeopardize our maintenance-of-effort commitment to U.S. Department of Education and put our federal stimulus money at risk."
How do people feel about the prospect of fewer school days for our kids?
This will also mean fewer paid work days for teachers -- down from 3 professional days to 1, and from 180 days of instruction to 175, the equivalent of a 5% salary reduction. Is that additional cut in salary "enough" to lead people to consider voting in favor of measure G?
What other cuts do you think should be considered, that are not yet on the district's list of possible cuts?
Will the revenues from measure G be enough to offset these additional cuts? Or should the school board have asked for a larger parcel tax?