Sunday, March 13, 2005

I posted too quickly ... even more CA school troubles

Only a short while after making my previous post on two Southern California school districts that are in financial trouble, I found two more articles (both in the San Jose Mercury News) discussing budget concerns in two more California school districts. The first article (registration required) discusses East Side Union High School District:
"East Side Union High School District trustees voted Thursday to send more than 400 layoff warnings to teachers next week, and focused on two other ways to stop the district's financial bleeding:

"Pursue an uncertain legal strategy to tap into land sale proceeds, or ask teachers to take a pay cut.

"The looming problem is a budget deficit for next school year that could be nearly $10 million, caused by ever-rising costs, declining state funds, and financial management practices from years past that auditors have flagged. Meanwhile the layoff notices could put pressure on the East Side Teachers Association, which represents about 1,200 district employees who are now seeking a new contract.

"The district does not plan to lay off 400 teachers, administrators said. But because they can't be sure which employees have the credentials to teach courses the district will need next year, it will send warnings to everyone who might be laid off. The president of the teachers union said it's overkill."
A second article covered a protest by teachers and parents in San Jose regarding the Proposition 98 funding issue (which I've discussed elsewhere):
"Portraying Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the villain who's placing California schools at risk with his latest budget proposal, hundreds of educators and parents protested further budget cuts Wednesday at a rally in San Jose.

"'The governor's budget proposals are the most significant threat to public education we have ever faced in California,' said Don Iglesias, superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District. 'We are in a fight for the future of the children of California.'

"At issue is Proposition 98, a voter-approved initiative guaranteeing public schools a minimum level of state funding. Last year, the governor and the Legislature suspended Proposition 98, and the governor has recommended the same again this year, sparking a huge outcry among educators across the state.

"About 1,000 Santa Clara County parents, educators and students chanted 'Save Prop. 98' and waved signs at the 4 p.m. rally at John Muir Middle School, accusing the governor of breaking his promise to restore the funding.

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