Friday, June 13, 2008


June 9, 2008

Education Coalition Hosts Budget Briefing

Today experts representing the Education Coalition provided a detailed analysis of the Governor’s May Revision budget proposal, showing how it would cut $4.3 billion from schools and students, and undermine critical programs that help student achievement, like class size reduction.

The panel also reviewed a series of charts, including one that showed how cuts would impact summer school, home-to-school transportation,  art and music, school counseling, child nutrition and other critical programs.

“Continuing to balance this budget with a cuts-only approach hurts children and schools,” said Pat Dingsdale, Director of Legislation for the California State PTA.  “The final budget agreement must include increased revenues as part of any approach to balancing the budget. We look forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor in passing a state budget that invests in the future of our students and our state.”

California already has some of the most overcrowded classrooms and the greatest shortages of librarians, counselors and other critical support staff in the nation. According to Education Week, California already ranks 46th out of 50 states in per-pupil funding. The Governor’s budget proposal keeps California at the bottom of those rankings.

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EDUCATION COALITION: Flanked by California State PTA Director of Legislation Pat Dingsdale and California Teachers Association’s Manager of Legislative Relations Lynne Faulks, California School Boards Association Assistant Executive Director Rick Pratt points to the fact the governor’s budget falls $4.3 billion short of meeting public education’s needs this year. (Photo: Len Feldman)


Conejo school board votes to cut spending, jobs

By Marjorie Hernandez, Ventura County Star – June 4, 2008

The Conejo Valley Unified School District board voted unanimously on Tuesday to cut spending and eliminate positions to help reduce an anticipated $4.5 million budget shortfall in the 208-09 school year.

The board held a budget study session last week, but made their final decision during Tuesday night's regular meeting.

To cover the shortfall, the board approved transferring workers' compensation funds, eliminated deferred maintenance contributions and cut 15 teaching positions— a move that would save the district $2.7 million.

The board also approved the elimination of three custodial positions, which would save the district $168,000, and to eliminate vacant positions, including a full-time accounting technician and a media center clerk.

The board also decided to cut $912,000 by eliminating several special education teaching positions in middle and high schools, a coordinator job and an orientation-mobility assistant.

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Revision adds $3 million, but 16 layoffs and other cuts still looming

By: Mandy Zatynski, The Desert Sun – June 4, 2008

Desert Sands Unified School District still faces a $10.8 million funding shortfall under the governor's proposed budget revision, officials told board members Tuesday night.

That's nearly $3 million less than initially anticipated earlier this year, but it still means cuts to programs and jobs.

"If the budget picture becomes brighter then we can reinstate some of the reductions we've made," said Charlene Whitlinger, deputy superintendent.

Desert Sands Unified administrators proposed on Tuesday to make up the funding loss through $6.6 million in cuts - all discussed during a board study session in April. They include cuts to class-size reduction programs at the third-grade level, high school and middle school athletics, and across-the-board cuts to department budgets.

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Bake sales won't compensate for a cut-only approach

Kristina Calkins | Atascadero

June 5, 2008 - As a parent of a kindergartner at San Gabriel Elementary School in Atascadero, I am extremely disappointed that the governor’s revised budget continues to make billions in cuts to schools and students. How are schools supposed to continue doing “more with less”?

Because this is our first child in the public school system, I was shocked when Kleenex was on the donation request list sent home to parents! It is so sad that our schools have to ask for such basic necessities. And with the governor cutting more than $4 billion from public education, it makes me wonder what our poor schools will have to ask the community for next year.

California already ranks 46th out of 50 states in per pupil spending, which is more than $1,900 below the national average, according to a 2008 survey by Education Week, a trade publication. Thankfully, we are lucky to live in this community where there is so much support from individuals, families, and businesses. I was amazed and very proud when our school’s PTA raised more than $20,000 from a kick-a-thon this year. But with the economy slowing, I hear people say that it is harder and harder to make donations. Now is not the time to make such drastic cuts to the state’s education funding.

I understand that we need to continue working on balancing the state’s budget, but a “cuts-only” approach hurts children, schools, and everyone’s future.

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