| Governor, Legislature put a lot on the line in November
by Brian Leubitz
Well, not THE most dangerous game, as I don't think there will be any hunting involved. However, the Governor and the Legislature are playing with K-12 education's money in the November revenue ballot fight:
A new education budget bill allows schools to cut 15 days in each of the next two school years if voters reject additional taxes on sales and income in November, double what Gov. Jerry Brown proposed in his May budget plan. (SacBee)
Now, this was likely done with the support of the teachers and other school organizations, but this is still a pretty risky play. It will help grease the skids for the revenue measure, obviously, but what happens if a bunch of school districts really go down to 160 days? That simply isn't enough to educate our children. A risky play, but perhaps the big gamble that gets the revenue measure to a position where it can succeed.
UPDATE: I want to point out that these cuts weren't simply a political gambit. They were a way to keep other priorities funded. Unfortunately, we are currently stuck in a zero-sum game. Using these trigger cuts means that some of the worst cuts to services are delayed (and hopefully eliminated) by passage of the revenue measure. If people understand what the revenue means to the K-12 system, maybe passage will be more likely. But when it comes down to it, K-12 is the biggest expense in the budget. In a crisis, eventually it is going to get hit hard.