Budget plans spare education cuts

May 14, 2008 6:01:30 PM PDT
The governor's plan spares any major cuts in education. In fact, schools will get nearly $2 billion more than they did last year. But state educators still aren't happy.

The governor's plan spares any major cuts in education. In fact, schools will get nearly $2 billion more than they did last year. But state educators still aren't happy.

In March, Emma Arellano-Flores was one of 87 Pittsburg teachers to get a pink slip. Today it seems she'll get to stay at Los Medanos School.

"It was a big relief to know I got a job back. So I was very worried because I was not aware of my situation whether I had a job of not," said Arellano-Flores.

The governor's revised budget proposal leaves Proposition 98 intact, which guarantees minimum funding for schools and increases it by $1.8 billion.

That means $100 more per student. The Governor's Office says California will now go from spending $8,509 to $8,610 on every student.

The governor's initial budget proposal had slashed nearly $5 billion in education spending.

Teachers like Miren Doolittle say it would have made it harder for schools to keep up with the state's academic standards.

"You are also having to meet the same needs that the kids are having and the same demands the district and the state is going to have on us," said Doolittle.

But not all of it is good news.

The revised budget proposal also means schools lose $4 billion in anticipated revenue they should have gotten as a cost of living adjustment.

Charmaine Kawaguchi is with Union City's New Haven Unified Education Association.

"All of our costs are going up. Electricity is going up, salaries are going up, health care costs are going up everything is going up and yet now we can expect much much less, nowhere near the five percent we were due," said Kawaguchi.

She anticipates cuts in other areas will be unavoidable.

That's why on Wednesday afternoon in Hayward, teachers from that district and four others including Castro Valley, New Haven, San Lorenzo and Newark protested the governor's plans for education.


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