Schwarzenegger Vows No K-12 Budget Cuts

By Lesli A. Maxwell — January 06, 2010 2 min read

After carving deeply into California’s K-12 budget over the past two years, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed Wednesday to spare schools from further cuts in the budget he will propose for fiscal 2011.

In his final State of the State address, the term-limited governor said that the state’s still-ailing budget will require more painful spending cuts in the coming months, but that he would draw the line on further cuts to both K-12 and higher education.

Spending on the state’s public schools has been slashed by nearly $18 billion since 2008, as the governor and lawmakers struggled to close what was a $62 billion deficit. K-12 spending this year still makes up about 37 percent of California’s $91.4 billion overall budget. The state’s total public school enrollment is about 6 million students.

The fiscally battered state now faces a nearly $20 billion deficit over the next 18 months.

“Because our future economic well-being is so dependent upon education, I will protect education funding in this budget,” Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said in his Jan. 6 speech to a joint session of the California legislature.

The governor, who is in the final year of his second term, also proposed a constitutional amendment to guarantee that the state will never spend more on prisons than it does on higher education. The governor said that the state is spending nearly 11 percent of the general-fund budget on prisons and 7.5 percent on colleges and universities. Thirty years ago, prison spending was at 3 percent and higher education at 10 percent, he said.

In his address, Mr. Schwarzenegger cited the passage of controversial education reform legislation on Tuesday by the state Assembly, which aims to help make California a strong contender for as much as $700 million in federal Race to the Top funds under the economic-stimulus program enacted by Congress nearly a year ago. Over objections from the California Teachers Association, state legislators agreed to drop the so-called “firewall” that prevented tying student-achievement data to individual teachers’ evaluations. The guidelines for the federal grant competition call for states to eliminate such barriers.

The governor also highlighted a measure that would allow a majority of parents whose children attend a low-performing school to demand a management change, including the possible ouster of the principal. Hailed by some as a transformative reform, the “parent trigger” would be limited to 75 schools statewide. Under the reform package, parents would also be able to transfer their children from poorly performing schools to other campuses, even across school district lines.

The CTA, an affiliate of the National Education Association, has opposed the legislation and continues to urge its defeat as it is expected to be voted on Wednesday by the state Senate.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 20, 2010 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States Vaccine Access Speeds Up for Teachers After Biden's Declaration
The vaccine landscape for teachers shifted dramatically after President Joe Biden directed states to prioritize the K-12 workforce.
7 min read
030321 Vaccine Breaking AP BS
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is held by a pharmacist at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut on March.
Jessica Hill
States Opinion How Jeb Bush’s ExcelinEd Is Tackling the Next 5 Years
Rick Hess talks with ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque about the organization's goals to improve education after the pandemic and beyond.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
States Governors, State Lawmakers: Schools Should Reopen for In-Person Learning
After months of leaving the decision up to districts, state leaders are taking a more direct role in getting students back in classrooms.
10 min read
Students at Louisa County High School in Mineral, Va., sit behind plexiglass dividers to promote social distancing.
Students at Louisa County High School in Mineral, Va., sit behind Plexiglas dividers. Virginia lawmakers are considering a bill that would require all school districts to offer in-person instruction with COVID-19 precautions.
Erin Edgerton/The Daily Progress via AP
States From Our Research Center State Grades on Chance for Success: 2021 Map and Rankings
Examine the grades and scores for states and the nation on the socioeconomic and other indicators in the Chance-for-Success Index.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read