I think a critical question is what makes this different than a prior year educational "budget crisis"?
1) Simply the sheer amount of the state's revenue shortfall and the rapid pace at which the amount of the shortfall has gotten worse.
2) The state budget passed in February, 2009 actually takes back money that was committed to school districts in the state Budget Act of September 2008.
3) California's revenue continues to deteriorate. As of March 13, 2009, the California Legislative Analyst's Office predicts an additional $8 billion shortfall on top of the $41 billion that the February '09 budget sought to address.
I remember in December of 2007, the state's shortfall was at $14 billion. One year later, in December of 2008 that number was $28 billion. By January 2009, $40-$41 billion. By March, the independent Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) predicted an additional $8 billion shortfall. Our Governor, last I read a week ago, is stating that if the May 19 election initiatives fail (and the critical ones involving extending taxation are polling badly), tack on another $6 billion to that number.
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