California has a right to be proud of its strong educational standards – California’s are among the toughest of the nation. But for schools to meet those tough standards, there must be resources available to meet the challenge. Currently, California is the 47th state in the union in per student funding for public education.
The Governor’s preliminary January, 2012 budget significantly reduces the amount of money for public school districts in California. And if the governor’s package of taxes does not pass in November, there would be another very large reduction in December.
This comes at a particularly bad time for school districts, which are losing (or have lost) federal stimulus funds. In Berkeley, the budget reduction for 201213 just due to the lost of federal stimulus funds in $1.7 million. Couple this with reductions from the state including losses in transportation, mental health funding, and other items, the total budget gap for 2012 will be over $3 million.
An additional cut of $370 per pupil from the General Fund will take effect in December if the Governor’s package of State taxes do not pass. This cut alone would amount to over $3 million loss for our district.
The School Board and District staff must prepare a budget based on the Governor’s preliminary proposal. The first airing of the Staff Recommendations for cuts in the coming school year is scheduled for the February 22 Board Meeting. More information on the school district budget is available here.
You can help by contacting those elected to represent the children and youth of California:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner representing District 14 (including Berkeley)
Elihu Harris State Building
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2201, Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: (510) 286-1400
Fax: (510) 286-1406
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles)
P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0046
Tel: (916) 319-2046
Fax: (916) 319-2146
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
State Capitol, Room 205, Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4006
Fax: (916) 323-2263
State Senator Loni Hancock (representing Berkeley)
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2202, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 286-1333
Fax: (510) 286-3885
Do you plan to support Governor Jerry Brown's tax initiative in November? Why? Why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.