Teaching Profession

Revised California Budget Plan Could Blunt Impact on Schools

By Linda Jacobson — May 20, 2008 3 min read

The cuts to education proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to help plug a huge hole in California’s fiscal 2009 budget won’t be as deep as the $4.8 billion originally projected for K-12 schools, under a revised plan he announced May 14.

But it remained unclear how many of the 14,000 teachers who received “pink slips” in March notifying them of impending layoffs would actually lose their jobs as school districts prepared to absorb some cuts. Final layoff notices were due May 15. (“Thousands of California Teachers Await Layoff Fate,” May 14, 2008.)

California faces a projected state deficit of $17 billion for the coming budget year, brought on by a slowing economy and the subprime-mortgage crisis. Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, told legislators in January that education would be among the areas facing deep cuts.

But the education cuts would have required suspension of the state’s Proposition 98, a funding guarantee for K-12 schools and two-year colleges.

The governor’s revised, $101.8 billion budget proposal includes almost $200 million more for K-12 and community colleges above the fiscal 2008 amount of $49 billion. But while education funding would increase overall, many categories of K-12 spending still would be cut by up to 10 percent, state officials said.

To accomplish that, the governor now plans to place a measure on the ballot in November that would allow officials to ask Wall Street investors for a lump sum of $15 billion in return for future earnings in the state lottery. Michael C. Genest, the governor’s finance director, described it as “selling a future stream of revenue in exchange for a cash payment today.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger said that the lottery has been underperforming compared with those of other states in terms of annual proceeds, but that legislation has been introduced to modernize it and increase sales. All of California’s lottery earnings currently go to schools.

“We have to utilize the potential of the lottery 100 percent,” the governor said during the press conference he held to unveil his new budget plan.

‘Damage Already Done’

The ballot measure also would make changes to the lottery system that officials believe would result in higher proceeds. Education would still receive a share of the proceeds fixed at a minimum of $1.2 billion, the amount now being received.

A voter rejection of the plan would trigger a 1-cent temporary hike, until fiscal 2011, in the state sales tax, bringing it to 8.25 cents.

Although the number of teacher layoffs remained unclear last week as districts weighed how many notices could be rescinded in light of their budget situations, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said “the damage has already been done” because of efforts by districts in four other states to actively recruit California teachers who are being laid off.

He also took issue with the governor’s assertion that his budget “fully funds” education. Mr. O’Connell noted that some layoffs are still certain, and that cost-of-living increases are still being held back.

On Gov. Schwarzenegger’s plan to fix the budget, Mr. O’Connell expressed mixed feelings.

“I think it’s clear the governor has heard the outcry from the education community over his initial budget proposals,” the schools chief said in a press release. “I am concerned, however, about a proposal that relies so heavily on the lottery alone to fund schools.

“This scheme does not address the long-term funding needs of our schools,” he said. “Instead, it gambles on our students’ future by providing one-time funds for schools with a multiyear repayment plan.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 21, 2008 edition of Education Week as New California Budget Plan Aims Counld Blunt Impact on Schools

Events

Leadership Live Event EdWeek Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
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.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
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.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

President and CEO
Alexandria, Virginia
National Association of State Boards of Education
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.

Read Next

Teaching Profession Q&A Nation's Top Teachers Discuss the Post-Pandemic Future of the Profession
Despite the difficulties this school year brought, the four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award say they're hopeful.
11 min read
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
National Teacher of the Year Finalists (clockwise from top left): Alejandro Diasgranados, Juliana Urtubey, John Arthur, Maureen Stover
Courtesy of CCSSO
Teaching Profession Teachers Are Stressed Out, and It's Causing Some to Quit
Stress, more so than low pay, is the main reason public school teachers quit. And COVID-19 has increased the pressure.
7 min read
Image of exit doors.
pavel_balanenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Should Teachers Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not all states are moving teachers to the front of the vaccination line. Researchers discuss the implications for in-person learning.
6 min read
Teacher Lizbeth Osuna from Cooper Elementary receives the Moderna vaccine at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Chicago public school teacher Lizbeth Osuna receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a school vaccination site last week.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP
Teaching Profession Chicago Teachers Approve School Reopening Plan: ‘We Got What We Were Able to Take’
Chicago Teachers Union members have voted in favor of a reopening deal, signaling that in-person classes can resume Thursday as planned.
Hannah Leone & Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas
4 min read
Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Chicago on Feb. 7, 2021. The Chicago Teachers Union has approved a deal with the nation’s third-largest school district to get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic, union officials announced early Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Chicago on Feb. 7. The Chicago Teachers Union has approved a deal with the nation’s third-largest school district to get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP