Board opposes $4.8 billion budget cuts
A portion of the resolution states, “Whereas the state budget proposed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a giant step backward for our students that would create chaos in our public schools with cuts of historic proportion that would derail the progress and threaten the education of millions of California students.”
The resolution also points out “Education Week” ranks California as 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending, at nearly $1,900 below the per-student average. The state has some of the largest class sizes in the country and ranks dead last in the number of counselors, school nurses and librarians per students.
The resolution states educators, school board members, administrators, superintendents, school employees and others are outraged that, in the self-proclaimed “year of education,” the governor’s proposed budget would slash $4.8 billion from the public schools in the next 18 months — including devastating mid-year cuts of $400 million — and would decimate the state’s minimum school-funding law, Proposition 98, which voters approved in 1988 and re-approved in 2005.
It also states, “Whereas, slashing the monumental sum of $4.8 billion from our schools is the equivalent of laying off more than 107,000 teachers or 137,000 education support professionals; or gutting per-student funding by more than $800; or cutting more than $24,000 per classroom statewide; or increasing class sizes by as much as 35 percent.
“Now therefore, be it resolved, that the Lassen Union High School District Board of Trustees calls on the governor and the legislator to put our students first; reject across-the-board cuts that would damage our public schools; protect the voter-approve minimum school funding law, Proposition 98; and show true leadership by setting realistic state budget priorities and a balanced approach of spending cuts and revenue increases to close the $14.5 billion budget hole.”
Students have also decided to plan an awareness event regarding the education cuts.
Associated Student Body President Delilah Zimmermann said the budget cuts were discussed during a student forum meeting, and students are thinking about establishing a Black Ribbon Week, with a proposed theme of Flunk the Budget.
The event would be held from Tuesday, May 27 through Friday, May 30.
ASB would provide black ribbons for students to wear during the week and students would wear all black on Friday.
During the meeting, the board also approved forming a budget committee to ensure parents, students, staff and community members are aware of the district needs and financial constraints as it develops the 2008-2009 budget.
Through the committee, the district will offer the opportunity to develop creative solutions to ensure the integrity of the programs in place for the students.
The budget committee will consist of a certificated staff member, parent from the site council, administrator, counselor, member from the classified staff, community member, Parent Teacher Student Association member, Associated Student Body member, student representative, senate representative and a county chief business officer.
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