Posted by John Evans at 7/3/2011 10:00:00 AM
The state has passed a budget and the Governor has signed it. What now?
In typical dysfunctional Sacramento style we now have a budget that is full of contradictions and uncertainties. I still don’t know how much the funding improves under the new budget. While they restore about $36 million in per pupil funding, they make reductions in three of our other funds. We don’t know yet how much those reductions will affect us. The Board already approved some restoration based on getting more money, but we still don’t know the net improvement.
As soon as this is calculated I believe that the Superintendent needs to inform those teachers and staff members who can be recalled as soon as possible. This will allow them to return to their original positions at the same schools. This will provide more stability to our schools. This will also make it clear who is not going to be recalled. We must not engender false hope. The state has not given us enough money to recall everyone. Students’ families also need to know what is going to be restored as they make plans for their enrollment.
Here is another sad reality: The state has created an even bigger problem for next year. They have essentially told us not to worry about the $90 million dollar hole for the following year. What does this mean? That means everyone who is recalled this year would have to be laid off next year along with hundreds more staff members. That simply cannot be done. We need teachers in the classroom and a secretary in the front office!
Is the state going to put us in a worse position next year? Next July are we supposed to make the same last minute decisions that we have to make now? Here are two simple ideas:
1) Next year the State needs to approve the education budget before we have to notify employees if they have a job or not. Planning ahead six months is not too much to ask. This year we have less than two months.
2) When the state tells us to operate at the 2010-11 level or any other level, they need to provide the funds to do that. No more gimmicks.