I’ve recently discovered John Fensterwald’s blog The Educated Guess, which is a good source of education news through a California lens. Yesterday, he posted a nice summary of a new poll by the respected Public Policy Institute of California. The poll found that most Californians would pay higher taxes to support schools, and that an overwhelming majority opposed cutting education to balance the budget. Mr. Fensterwald says:
Gov. Schwarzenegger should keep those numbers in mind, because they’ll only go up in coming months, as school districts lay out next year’s severe budget cuts and, in March, when they send out layoff notices to teachers.
The governor can say, “No problem. No taxes needed, because I pledged in my State of the State address to protect K-12 schools.” But if that’s so, then why are districts startewide talking about, in various combinations, knocking five days off the school year, expanding class sizes in elementary school to 28 to 30, eliminating summer school and about every discretionary program left and asking staff to take additional pay cuts?
Why indeed? God help us if the Governor actually decides to CUT education!