Reaction to proposed budget cuts

January 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The proposed cuts to the state budget will be deep, and are especially heartbreaking for teachers who can't fathom how California schools can cut back even more. We get reaction from those who will be impacted most by the governor's proposed cuts.

It was not a good day for California teachers. Many are just trying to comprehend what a four billion dollar proposed budget cut will do to state pubic schools, classrooms and its students.

"It means that my colleagues are going to get laid off, it means we're going to be using old textbooks again. I remember teaching in schools when there were holes in the ceiling. Are we going to go back to that?" says teacher Ken Tray.

The 10-percent cut to education is all part of Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget plan. The teachers union claims it equates to cutting about $20,000 out of every classroom all over the state.

"It's an absolute betrayal of California and what the people of California have put the governor in office to safeguard," says Dennis Kelly with United Educators San Francisco.

Governor Schwarzenegger is not only looking to cut deep into education, but also slice into the state parks budget as well. Forty-eight state parks are on his hit list and may close by July 1. Candlestick Point State Park is also on that list.

"It's just, it's a nice natural area. Doesn't seem like it's something that would save a lot of money by having it closed," says Richard Denney, a park visitor.

A state program called Cal Works aims to help those on public assistance get training and jobs. That program faces a $470 million dollar cut over the next two years. At the Jewish Vocation Service, where those students are trained, this news is tough to take.

"This really no time to be cutting services that can help people get off of public assistance and get jobs. Recession is looming on the horizon," says Abby Snay, executive director of JVS.

Other proposed cuts by Governor Schwarzenegger include a one billion dollar cut to Medi-Cal, no cost of living increase for low-income elderly, blind or disabled, and the laying off of more than 6,000 state correctional workers.

Virtually every state department and agency in California is facing a proposed budget cut of some sort. Governor Schwarzenegger says this is all in the name of budget reform.

The teachers union tells us they have already begun to mobilize an effort to take on the governor and fight these proposed cuts.