Monday, December 6, 2010

California Residents Prefer a 'Targeted' Approach to Funding Education

Biggest item in Wisconsin's state budget?  School funding.  Cut here and you put more than just Madison on a diet.

Link to December 6 San Jose Mercury News article, "California's education outlook: huge classes, shorter school years, less learning".

Excerpt: After the Legislature opens a special session today to discuss how to close a $6 billion hole in the current state budget, schools are likely to endure another big midyear blow. And then comes the really bad news: the need to reconcile a projected $19.5 billion shortfall for 2011-12, partly by cutting education.

Here's the likely result: "Schools will become more and more like prisons and less and less like schools," said David Plank, a professor of education at Stanford University. "You'll have huge classes, restive young people and overworked teachers."

Sound drastic? So is the budget crisis.

Soon after he is sworn in next month, Governor-elect Jerry Brown will have to present a budget for 2011-12, a year that likely will be worse than any that California schools have endured in modern history. The deficit is so huge that educators and officials either can't think about it or can't believe it.

That denial stems partly from successive years of cutbacks, when schools made do and Sacramento staved off disaster with accounting tricks, a bond, temporary tax increases and Uncle Sam's stimulus funds. Now, even as state tax revenues continue to plunge, those options are exhausted.

Part of the problem, educators say, stems from Californians' mantra about education that sounds like a Target slogan: Expect more, pay less.

No comments: