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.