Monday, September 28, 2009

Natomas; more cuts

Natomas cuts;
An earlier post criticized the Sacramento BEE article by Diana Lambert on budget cuts in Natomas Unified School District. I criticized the framing of the story and the emphasis on Natomas as a “troubled” district.
On Friday, Sept. 25, the writer Diana Lambert published a follow up article on the budget cuts noting that the County officials told Natomas to cut $200,000 more from this year’s budget and $5 million from the budgets of each of the next three years.

The issue is that the Natomas schools have cut their budgets by $31.2 million, and now, due to the failure of the legislature to adequately fund the schools, they must cut even more. Natomas is not a troubled school district. Like all districts it is responding to the draconian budget cuts imposed from the state.

These cuts hurt children. Already the district has raised its class size from 20 to 25 in k-3. This means that some children will not learn to read and some will not learn math.
Appointing a financial monitor is a means of enforcing a failed state policy of budget cuts. An accounting view of the problem is that the district must make the cuts. An educational view of the problem is that the School Board has a responsibility to provide a quality education for all the children.

The school children did not cause the economic crisis. Major banks and corporations like AIG and Citi corp looted the economy now children must pay the price.

The follow up story continued the frame of the school monitor as shaping up the district – that is the viewpoint of the writer.
At least now they have recognized that cuts are imposed by the economic crisis- not the school board and that the cuts hurt children.
These kinds of severe budget cuts are occurring in schools throughout the state.
BTW. Neither of the major efforts to re-write the California Constitution would respond to these school budget crises. Repair California or California Forward.
Duane Campbell
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