A message on the Governor’s May budget revision from CFT Legislative Representative Jeff Frietas:
Dear CFT Advocates and Leaders,
Here is a quick and dirty rundown of the May Revision to the Governor’s budget proposal.
Let’s start with the big picture.
In September of 2008, the budget was passed and signed to fund Prop 98 for 08-09 at $58 billion. By July of 2009 after mid-year cuts and another round of cuts, the Prop 98 figure for 08-09 dropped to $49.1 billion. At that time the 09-10 Prop 98 budget was $49.9 billion, and the current proposal for the 10-11 Prop 98 figure is $48.4 billion (if the Gov were to live up to his deal and the constitution on how Prop 98 is funded, 10-11 should be $52.2 billion). So, in the Governor’s May revise (click here for summary) when he states, “the Governor’s commitment to avoid additional cuts to K-14 education despite the need to close a deficit of $19.1 billion,” he is just be another actor playing another role in a fictional story.
Now for some details.
The Governor maintains the following cuts from his January Proposal: $1.5 billion to revenue limits, elimination of $550 million to class size reduction, $204 million for a negative 0.38% COLA, additional flexibility for K-12 and CC budgeting and continued “efforts to retain high-quality teachers and principals, especially during the these difficult budget times.” The CC budgeting flexibility include allowing PT Categorical money to be used for other budget items, suspending the FON or 75/25 rule, and suspending the 50% rule.
In the May Revise, the Governor no longer attempts to go back and re-certify Prop 98 for the 08-09 year, he does suggest other ways to manipulate education funding and cuts to Prop 98. First, he eliminates child care and claims a “re-benching” of Prop 98 down by $1.4 billion due to this elimination. (He also continues his suggestion to eliminate CALWORKS which has a domino effect in all areas of the budget including Education). Even though he drops his suggestion to target central office administration and contracting out to make up for his $1.5 billion cut to the revenue limit, he appears to still be targeting teachers and their due process rights, as I quoted above. You’ll be happy to know that there are no additional deferrals.
While I know this only brings bad news, change is around the corner. Here is how you can effect change. Talk to your local representatives and share your struggles in your schools, ramp up for the Majority Ballot Initiative in Nov., and support Jerry Brown so we don’t get another “fake” leader like Actor Arnold. You won’t want Wall Street Whitman developing these proposals.
Keep up the good fight.
Jeffery M Freitas
California Federation of Teachers