Budget cuts a certainty

May 20, 2020

Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo

Madera schools may be facing drastic budget cuts in the wake of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget revision.

Schools facing a bleak financial future

 

Nobody thought the picture was going to be pretty, but few could have imagined how drastic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May budget revision would be for schools.

 

In presenting his May Revise, Newsom said, “The May Revision proposes to cancel new initiatives proposed in the Governor’s Budget, cancel and reduce spending included in the 2019 Budget Act, draw down reserves, borrow from special funds, and make government more efficient. Due to the size of the challenge, there is no responsible way to avoid reductions. The budget will show that the most painful cuts will only be triggered if the federal government does not pass an aid package that helps states and local governments.”

 

According to the independent, non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, California’s K-12 schools and community colleges are going to need $82 billion just to maintain the “current service level.” Newsom’s new budget is calling for $70.5 billion, a reduction of $11.5 billion. In addition, the Governor is asking for a $3.6 billion cut from this school year, which ends on June 30.

 

According to the LAO, this amounts to more than $15 billion in cuts to California’s schools.

 

Coming as it does while negotiations between MUSD and the employee unions are being conducted, the public can expect the district to make some painful decisions in the days to come.

More than 50 teachers on special assignment have been reassigned to regular classrooms. Some of the teachers they replaced were given pink slips in March.

 

With reduction demands as heavy as the governor is advocating, it is difficult to see how there can be any “sacred cows.” Of special interest will be the budget reserve, the number of certificated employees who are not in the classroom, and special programs.

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