K-12 Schools Spared From Cuts in Budget Deal
Lawmakers have rejected the governor’s initial plan to cut $14 billion from education, including $8 billion from K-12 schools. The budget deal reached by Gavin Newsom and lawmakers this week will delay payments to school districts in anticipation of more federal relief. “The plan also prohibits layoffs to teachers and classified employees, which include custodians and food workers,” reports the Sacramento Bee.
“While this budget prevents the worst cuts in the short term, it still puts our students and our communities at risk,” Jeff Freitas, president of the California Federation of Teachers, told the Bee. “As teachers and classified professionals we will continue to demand the revenues our students need to succeed.”
There will still be plenty of hardship. The state will cut early education and preschool funding. The University of California will lose $470 million, while Cal State will lose $500 million.
As EdSource reports, K-12 schools must offer live instruction in order to keep their funding. That means offering in-person classes “to the greatest extent possible.” Teachers must confirm students have the necessary technology to complete learning and coursework and must interact with them daily.
Not everyone thinks that’s smart.
“The push toward on-campus instruction, while understandable, doesn’t make sense in a health context when legislators have to know that many districts do not have the funding, the facility space, or the capacity to safely offer on-campus instruction en masse at this time,” Troy Flint, spokesman for the California School Boards Association, told EdSource. “It appears to undermine the priority the governor has placed on health and safety.”