State Schools Chief: State of Education "Precarious"

Share |
(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell has a sobering message:

"The state of public education in California is precarious.”

O’Connell says schools could see up to ten billion dollars in cuts this year as lawmakers balance a 40 billion dollar deficit.  He called it breathtaking – and warned of even worse times ahead:

“Larger class sizes and fewer classroom aides.  Out-dated textbooks.  Longer bus rides for our students or perhaps no buses at all.”

O’Connell says he fears such cuts will disproportionately hurt low-income and minority students.  He says they’ll also probably push California to the bottom in terms of per-pupil spending among states.

To soften the blow, the Governor wants to give schools more spending flexibility.  However, the state’s biggest teachers union opposes that – saying it that would lead to larger classes.