KPCC News In Brief

California education chief worries about effect of budget cuts

California’s education chief says the public schools are in a “precarious” situation. In his annual “State of Education” address, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said schools face up to $10 billion in cuts this school year because of the state’s massive deficit. O’Connell worries that the resulting layoffs and larger class sizes cuts could hurt some students more than others.

Superintendent Jack O’Connell: “It’s the students of color, students who are poor, students who are learning English, or coping with learning disabilities, who need the most assistance. And equal cuts across the school, or across a school district, will be inequitably felt by them.”

Any deal lawmakers work out to balance the state’s $40 billion deficit is likely to include cuts to education.

The governor says he wants to give schools more spending flexibility. But the state’s biggest teachers union maintains that would leave schools with smaller instructional staffs.

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February 2009

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