Thursday, February 28, 2008

California School Finance

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Issues Statement
Regarding Legislative Analyst's Budget Finding
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today issued the following statement after the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released its analysis (Outside Source) of the state budget:

"The Legislative Analyst's Office projects an even direr fiscal picture for our state than was presented in the January Governor's budget, and proposes cuts to schools in the current year in addition to those approved by the Legislature last week. While the LAO proposes a smaller reduction to Proposition 98 in the upcoming budget year than the Governor, any suspension of Proposition 98 would result in direct harm to programs critical to closing the achievement gap and preparing all students to succeed in a demanding future.

"I am opposed to suspending payments to our schools under the Quality Education Investment Act, a program that is vital to serving students most in need of extra assistance. I also strongly oppose changes to the Class Size Reduction program that could lead to larger classes and threaten the quality of education of California's students.

"While it is true that our fiscal situation is dire, the need to invest in education has never been more important to securing the future of our state. Just a few weeks ago Education Week ranked California 46th in the nation in per-pupil funding. Cutting even further into education programs serving our diverse and challenging student population is both unfair and unwise."
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