Brown: More school budget cuts coming

Governor-elect Jerry Brown. File photo/Bay Area News GroupCalifornia schools have lost $7 billion in state funding in the last three years, but all signs point to more cuts down the road — likely in the middle of the school year.

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown told educators today at a Los Angeles budget conference to “fasten your seat belts,” AP is reporting.

Ed Source tells us just how bad it might get in a new report detailing the extra pressures facing California’s public schools. Not only are districts dealing with the latest budget in state history, but they are receiving delayed payments — last year’s money this year. The report also notes that layoffs will likely continue in many places, even though staffing ratios in our state are 25 percent below the national average.

The Center for Teaching and Learning also released a report today about the lousy economy’s effect on the teaching profession. Schools are hiring fewer teachers, and the teaching force has shrunk by about 3 percent in two years. The number of first- and second-year teachers in 2009-10 (18,000) was half of what it was in 2007-08 (36,000), and there are fewer in the pipeline as well.

Those who remain, the authors note, are often left with more students and even more responsibilities.

Now that I’ve brightened your dreary Tuesday afternoon … what are your budget predictions?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • TheTruthHurts

    California will try to kick the can once more with witchcraft budgeting for at least one more year. Brown won’t want to do it, but delusional Californians will insist we’re in a recovery.

    If a Democratic Congress is not in place nationally after 2012, California won’t get bailed out in 2014 and will default on it’s debts. At that point, California will be Ireland or Greece. Students will be protesting like in England. Unfortunately, at that point, it’ll be too late. Some of Nextsets predictions about online schooling and 3 year high school might be serious considerations by that point.

    If the environment allows California to get bailed out by the feds then the U.S. will probably be on track to be Japan with 10% unemployment and 1-2% growth for a decade. We will then be in a period of death by 1,000 cuts. Nothing massive, just slow death with districts and cities like Oakland suffering the most.

  • Hot r

    Cut school days to the minimum (145?), do away with preschools and adult education, cut all duplicative services like district maintenance and gardening that can be taken over by the city, cut all sports and after school programs not fully paid for by grants, combine districts with neighboring districts for efficiency of scale, go to one statewide teacher salary rather than different salaries for each district, do away with any small school experiments in favor of mega schools, assume higher crime rates with higher dropout rates and a dearth of after school programs, more child care costs, police services, and even lower property values in Oakland. with the added pressure on teachers assume more early retirements a younger shorter term teaching staff which will resonate with even lower student achievement. Assume more meaningless demonstrations and lawsuits as the reality sets in. Did I leave anything out?

  • Shawn

    @ Hot R:

    Yeah, you left one major item out- can anyone tell me what the County Office of Education does? How much money they drain?

    What is there purpose other than to house ex politicans?

    Cut EM!

  • Another Oakland Teacher

    Re: cuts to adult ed; I know this seems like one of the first places to cut, but it really is a short-sighted move in many ways. As a long-term veteran of this district, I can personally attest to the great difference in academic achievement between those whose parents have more education and better jobs and those whose parents have less.

    Some people say that since these folks didn’t take advantage of education when they had the chance as kids, they don’t deserve another chance (if they ever had one; many adult ed students are immigrants). But it really serves society in NO way to deny them this chance; because we often wind up paying for it in other ways; with increased crime, subsidized housing, and other forms of welfare to address food and health care; we wind up housing many of these people in prisons, where we pay for everything anyway, and at the same time, they are not effective parents and their kids do poorly school. Sure there are many exceptions, but I’m here to attest to the fact that most kids whose parents were academic failures are also academic failures, even though we try everything to prevent that, to assist them and so on.

    The parent matters; and for that matter, the next door neighbor also matters. Many of these folks can be served by adult education. Cutting it is a mistake, although I strongly suspect that it will not much survive even in its considerably diminished form…

  • Social(ist) Justice

    It’s just not smart to cut Adult Education programs because it’s one of the few low-cost or free programs for underserved adults who don’t have programming options like Youth Uprising, Youth Radio, or Boys/Girls Clubs. It is often the first step for adults (many PARENTS as well) who want to get into a vocational school, GED, or bridge to a 4-year College. Going straight to the Community College is not always the right fit for people who have been out of school for extended periods–plus the competition from young adults can be intimidating for older adults. The fact is, the cuts will hurt those who have had histories of being disenfranchised the most, and won’t do anything to curb violence. There have been far fewer cases of people getting mugged/murdered while on their way to school! At least people would have a purpose and destination other than the corner stores or public assitance offices. (Seriously)