Saturday, August 30, 2008

Schools and the California budget

The California budget remains in a stalemate. The Senate’s first vote was 3 votes short. That is, no Republicans voted for the budget. Passing a budget in California requires a 2/3 vote which requires that some Republicans vote for a budget to pass.

The proposed budget includes new “temporary” taxes. Then, in addition it requires substantial borrowing. Now I am not opposed to borrowing in general. However, at present the state has been borrowing for three years. When state and local governments borrow, they have to pay interest.
At present the interest we are paying on the borrowing is greater than the budget of the California State University system. If more borrowing is made necessary then more interest will be paid.
California dramatically under funds its schools. We rank about 27th in per pupil expenditure of the 50 states. If you compare the states and compare cost of living in each state, Superintendent O’Connell says that California ranks 49th. out of the 50 states.
In 2003, then Governor Gray Davis gave more money to the schools. In 2007 Governor Schwarzennegger gave more money in the Quality Investment in Education act. But now, in this budget crisis, we are limiting our spending on schools. California is not making educational progress in significant part because we refuse to adequately fund our schools.
So, if in response to Republican strategy the current budget can only be passed by borrowing, then in a future year there will be less money, and their will also be money spent paying interest on the debt.
This does not move us forward. Borrowing on the budget may be an unwelcome necessity. However, it does not move in any way toward school budget improvement nor toward dealing with California’s educational crises.
Duane Campbell. Sacramento

1 comment:

Keith said...

What is the legislature doing??? California has serious budget problems that the legislature doesn't want to address. No, California is deficit spending problkems and the only way both Democrats AND Republicans plan on balancing the budget is more borowing?!? This is incomprehensible! No one in their right mind would run a personal or business budget this way. California's serious budget problems requires serious legislators who will work to solve the budget woes, not dance around them. I am not surprised now that this years California budget is latest on record, nor am I very surprised to hear that the legislature may do nothing at all this year and instead leave it to the next elected body to resolve. Shame on our politicians in Sacramento for forcing this on the good people of California.