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Proposed State Budget Called 'Irresponsible'

Gov. Jerry Brown released his budget proposal for the next fiscal year on Thursday. K-12 schools will lose billions unless voters approve tax hikes in November.

For the first time in years, California's financially strapped public schools could see billions more in state funding in the next fiscal year—with one contingency.

And, it's a big one.

Voters will have to approve the tax increases Gov. Jerry Brown is determined to put on the November ballot. 

He unveiled Thursday afternoon his budget proposal for 2012-13, allotting $4.9 billion more to K-12 schools than the current year. 

But if the tax proposals don't pass this fall, the budget includes an automatic trigger cut of $4.8 billion. Brown projects the tax hikes would provide $6.9 billion in additional revenue for education programs.

Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education called the trigger irresponsible, but said he would likely urge voters to pass the tax proposals anyway in order to keep much-needed revenues flowing into the district.

"More cuts are just plain unconscionable," he said.

Last month, in reacting to the automatic mid-year trigger cuts built into this year's state budget,

Since reaching an all‑time high of $56.6 billion in 2007‑08, state funding of K‑12 schools and community colleges sank to $47.6 billion for the 2011‑12 year.

"It always bears repeating that the 2011-12 level of funding is already woefully inadequate, especially after $18 million in cuts over the previous several years," Allen said.

The state Department of Finance said the budget proposal for next year begins to reverse the recent decline in funding for K‑12 education programs.

When accounting for all state, federal and local property tax resources, total funding for K‑12 education is projected to be $67.1 billion in 2012‑13.

This funding supports California's school districts, charter schools and county offices of education that provide instruction and support services to more than 6 million students.

Across the board, the budget scenario is looking much rosier this year, Brown said.

His office expects to tackle $9.2 billion in red ink when the next fiscal year starts July 1. This year, he and lawmakers grappled to close a $26.6 billion budget gap.

The governor's 2012-13 budget proposal relies on a mixed bag of solutions to overcome the $9.2 billion deficit. They include a half-cent sales tax bump, an increase on the income tax for those making $250,000 or more per year, reduced spending and borrowing.

"It's a balance," Brown said at a press conference in Sacramento at which he unveiled the budget days earlier than anticipated. "We have more needs, desires, demands than the money available."

If voters approve the tax hikes, the state budget would include:

  • $2.2 billion to reduce inter-year , an IOU that enables schools to spend money they don't yet have
  • Elimination of a that requires students to be 5 years old by Nov. 1 to start school in September
  • An extra $4.7 billion in Prop. 98 guarantees for schools statewide
  • No cost-of-living adjustments

"Constant budget cuts erode not only the education they receive, they erode the morale and the spirit of everyone involved in K-12 education," Allen said. "Clearly, we need to raise certain revenues."

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, who represents Santa Monica and Malibu and is a former president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education, is already asking voters to approve the tax measures.

"I am very concerned California faces another year of austerity," she said in a press release.

The budget proposal was set to be released next week, but when it was mistakenly posted on the Department of Finance's website, Brown's office scrambled to call Thursday's press conference.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified's chief financial officer did not immediately return a message seeking comment for this story.

Steve Woods January 06, 2012 at 04:25 AM
How can California Afford to pay for all The illegal Aliens who siphon off massive amounts of the budget but who do not pay into the system ? No Wonder California is circling the Grecian Drain . My mom was a teacher of a 5th grade class of 35 students , only two of which spoke English !! Do you think their parents attended PTA meetings and paid taxes ! Don't think So .. But when I go on surf trips to Baja,, I see where all under table tax free labor wages end up !
Bill Kerbox January 06, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Jerry just approved the dream act to fund illegal immigrants college funds. Hello What you are not hearing from Jerry when he asks for more money is where the money yhe state does have is going. You need to look at the pensions and healthcare going to millions. I personally know a number of retirees with big pensions who are also working. I have been working for over 30 years paying millions in taxes and I have no free healthcare or retirement plan. Its time to get real. Jerry cannot just keep raising taxes sorry
Bill Kerbox January 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Right on!
M Stanley January 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I've got no problem with the Dream Act *AFTER* all children of fallen and combat wounded service personnel receive a free higher education!! This is incredible that we are speaking of extending financial benefits without first ensuring that these innocent citizens receive an honor befitting the price their parents pay - The Ultimate Sacrifice in many cases. Please check out groups such as Operation Opportunity and No Greater Sacrifice to educate yourself on the struggles that over 46K children in this country face after their parents fought for the freedoms that others want badly enough to commit the crime of illegal entry. That's over 46,000 children and the numbers continue to grow.... We owe them before we gift the children of illegal immigration!!!!!
Steve Woods January 07, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Jerry seems really out of touch with economic reality . His legislation rewards Law breakers and punishes Businesses who could be helping our Military Heroes families who did suffer the Ultimate sacrifice . Businesses are fleeing California in Droves from national high Hostile Taxation which in turn creates more poverty , more welfare more criminal activity . My Girlfriend is a Firefighter in Los Angeles. Does she fight fires and go out on legitimate medical calls?....sometimes, but she is mostly up all night going out on a fire engine or a fire truck to EMS calls, carting People to the hospital who are complaining in Spanish about minor irritations because they know they will get a free ride to the hospital, free healthcare without paying a dime in taxes . Meanwhile I work hard as a carpenter, live a healthy lifestyle, pay my taxes , pay for doctors visits but I have to pay for an illegal Aliens insulin because they drink Coca Cola and eat Sweet pastries, or I pay for the free delivery of unplanned births and their schooling who are taking jobs away from me , a legal Citizen . It is not just illegals who feel entitled to taking advantage of Social services , not only the lazy but people who actually have alot of money driving expensive Audi's and still collect Food Stamps and MediCal . Last week the firefighters were in line paying for groceries, behind a woman using foodstamps. She got $200 cash back, and then was seen getting into her brand new black Audi SUV !!!!

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