The California Governor’s new budget slashes education across the board, including K-12 and higher education. Despite the dire economic situation in California, educators and voters alike were hoping to restore funding to their needed levels.
Dr. Arun Ramanathan, executive director of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement regarding the release of Governor Brown’s proposed budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year:
“The proposed budget by Governor Brown identifies painful cuts in education. These could be worse without legislative action and public approval of a potential proposition to extend tax increases – both of which have been difficult to secure in the past.”
“We are deeply concerned about the cuts to education and the potential for deeper cuts. Over the past three years, our state’s budget has been balanced on the backs of our children. These cuts have disproportionally impacted students of color and students in poverty by increasing class sizes, cutting summer school and eliminating intervention programs that support student learning in districts across California. For far too long, our education decisions have been made based on adult interests, not the needs of students.” READ MORE HERE.
Brown proposes spending $63.8 billion for K-12 schools next year, down $2.6 billion from this year’s budget, with much of the difference coming from the loss of federal stimulus money. The governor said state funding of schools is “generally even” next year compared with this year because schools have borne the brunt of past spending reductions.
However, some $2 billion of the school money would disappear if voters do not approve an extension of existing taxes in a ballot measure this summer.
The reduction in the education budget alarmed Marty Hittelman, president of the California Federation of Teachers.
“The proposed state budget continues to threaten the future of California by reducing our investment in public education and the students who will lead our state in the coming years,” Hittelman said, adding that the proposed new cuts in education would come on top of $18 billion in school-funding decreases over the last three years.
Brown proposed to reduce funding for the University of California and California State University systems by $500 million each, which he said was “a very difficult cut.”
For Cal State the reduction represents an 18% cut in funding from the state general fund, according to CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who predicted it will “have serious impacts on the state’s economy, limit access for students seeking entrance into our universities, and restrict classes and services for our current students.”
UC President Mark G. Yudof called it “a sad day for California” but said “the university will stand up and do all it can to help the state through what is a fiscal, structural and political crisis.”
The proposed budget will also be painful for community college students, who would see their fees climb from $26 per credit unit to $36.
What do you think about the governor’s budget?