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CDE press release on Governor's upcoming cuts to public education

Original post made by Tony E., Pleasanton Meadows, on May 16, 2009

Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Decries Proposed New Cuts to Public Education Governor's May Budget Revision Cuts Billions from Public Schools

SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell issued the following statement in response to the release of Governor Schwarzenegger’s May Revision:

“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. Class sizes will increase. Fewer of the 27,886 teachers who received pink slips will be retained. The ratio of students to school counselors and school nurses will widen further. Arts, music, and career technical education will be slashed. The pain of these cuts will be felt in thousands of other ways, large and small, in classrooms around 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.

“This is exactly the wrong conversation we should be having at this time. In order to protect the economic viability of our state, it is more critical than ever that we help all students meet their full potential, close the achievement gap, and ensure that all California students are prepared to compete in the global economy. We should be talking about doing what it takes to educate a workforce with 21st century skills.

“In order to do this we must fix the structural problems in our state budgeting process. We must consider fundamental change. I have proposed and continue to support SCA 6 by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), which helps communities raise funds for local schools by lowering to 55 percent the threshold for approval of local parcel taxes. I also continue to call for a majority vote budget to resolve the gridlock that has plagued Sacramento for too many years. We must all be open to thinking differently and put the long-term needs of California citizens above special interest groups and politicians.”

The CDE link: Web Link

Comments (10)

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

Not a surprise to see Jack and Arnold posturing during an election. How about we cut the state department of education or reduce to regional offices of education and not one in every county. Just like Measure G, there are other solutions to budgeting issues that don't have to impact our schools or our pocketbooks.

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Posted by Tony E.
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 16, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Tony E. is a registered user.

Whether they're posturing for the success of Propositions 1A - 1E or not, a minimum $3 billion in additional cuts are going to happen. That's if the posturing succeeds. $5.4 billion in additional cuts if posturing fails. Unless, of course, the State Legislature comes up with a few miracles and can agree on what those miracles look like.

The Governor's new budget: Web Link

Have a good afternoon and stay cool.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Tony, I get the implications of the threats, be it 1A-1E or Measure G. Again, the conversation needs to be about living within their means. And the state won't have a budget by June; they haven't made that deadline in years.

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Posted by Carl
a resident of Country Fair
on May 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Tony - what do you recommend for how to deal with the state of California's $3B or $5.4B additional cuts in education funding? Stay cool? You're just repeating the "Doom and Doomer" messages of the Governor.

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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

"Again, the conversation needs to be about living within their means"

Its not like we're spending it on things like medicare or social security. That is truly throwing away money. At the federal level that is the whole story. We need to be cutting COLA and benefits for seniors and increasing our spending on education. Social Security and Medicare are wrecking the federal budget. I have already posting links on this forum showing that.

Increased spending on education at all levels can lead to better outcomes. This is most true at the college and post-graduate level where the schools with the largest research budgets have the best reputations and provide the best education. Look at any of the respected guides to competitive colleges, and budget level is always an important category. By the same token, decreased spending ruins schools. Just look at what happened after proposition 13 passed. California used to have some of the best K-12 schools in the nation.

Let's have the courage to raise taxes and not hide behind worn out Reagan-era slogans. If we want the services, we should be prepared to pay for them.

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Russell: Here is one source of information on the lack of correlation between spending and achievement. It's been posted before, so maybe you already reviewed it: Web Link The Wall Street Journal article on another thread here is another good read. Others are P J O'Rourke's book "Parliament of Whores" and again "Outiers" by Malcolm Gladwell. Each of these speaks to a different piece of the puzzle.

Prop 13 was the wrong solution to a real problem. So is Measure G. The lesson is, define the problem, determine all the solutions available, decide on the best of those possibilities, then act. It takes a lot more work than saying "ooops, we're low on cash, raise a tax." A lot more work. I think all government entities are about to find that out.

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Posted by Brittanicus
a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm

The invasion of illegal immigrants into the state of California, has much to do with the monolithic budget meltdown. Learn the truth from City councilor Andronovich stated that $ 11. billion can be attributed to every illegal alien, who breaks into America, get a free lunch on the taxpayers in Los Angeles county. That's just Los Angeles? What about the rest of the state? How about the taxes extracted from every American, throughout AMERICA? My concern and thousands of other citizens and legal residents is how many---ILLEGAL ALIENS---are voting in elections, when no governmental ID is needed to prove immigration status. Simply recognize that California is a---SANCTUARY STATE---and by removing millions of illegal immigrants and their families will assist on balancing the budget.

So vote---NO--on all propositions as you are supporting parasite businesses that hire illegal cheap labor. The Liberal Assembly in Sacramento has allowed foreign labor to settle here and now the Piper must be paid. Taxpayers are unknowingly paying billions of dollars in State benefits to underwrite education, health care, housing and other benefits and now has the highest taxes in the nation? If we don't draw the line now--the politicians will keep drawing more and more blood from us, in the form of raised taxes. Demand a permanent E-Verify workplace extraction tool now. Learn more at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIALWATCH.

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Posted by Russell
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

I posted a critique of the pleasantonparceltaxinfo article already.

I hope all government entities aren't going to be cut. I think some federal programs are woefully underfunded, and are doing and excellent job. The NSF was one example.

Like this comment
Posted by Tony E.
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Tony E. is a registered user.

Kathleen, I don't think the Governor is threatening. He's clearly demonstrated that he's willing to cut whatever it takes.

Carl, what would I recommend for dealing with the state of California's $3B or $5.4B additional cuts in education funding? I can only say what I am doing which is:

1) Writing the Governor, my State Senator and Assembly person to plead with them to not grid-lock again for months while the State dances to the edge of the financial cliff without a budget. That they make education a top priority.

2) Supporting a local school parcel tax which circumvents the Sacramento budget process and keeps these generated funds here.

Is this a prefect plan? Probably not. But it's all I can think of to do at this point given the enormity of the problem.

Oh, and by "stay cool", I meant the temperature outside. Man it's hot out there today :)


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Stanford U, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the LAO... Many groups have studied the problems with education funding in California and the way the State wastes money on it. All have suggested reforms. None so far are being considered. We don't need redundant categorical programs with their administrative overhead.

The State props are an attempt by the legislature to continue status quo. Voters are fed up with that because the status quo sucks. We want reform. The system has to break first in order to get fixed.

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