State Schools Chief: Districts Feeling Pinch Of Cuts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Governor Schwarzenegger proposed nearly five billion in cuts to education to help balance the budget. That’s really only the starting point for lawmakers’ negotiations. But school districts are required to let teachers know this week if they could be laid off next year. State Superintendent Jack O’Connell says schools are in a bind: “They are very nervous, and I’m going to predict that when we approach the end of this week, the March 15th layoff notices, that’s going to be a record number.” Many of those teachers may keep their jobs in the end. That’s because Democrats, who control the legislature, have said they won’t allow cuts to education. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is even talking about a tax on oil companies to fund teacher salaries. The Governor has said he’ll consider eliminating some tax breaks – but Republican lawmakers have said they will not.