California's budget gap is estimated to be around $14 billion this year (for my UK readers, that's 14x10^9, not 14x10^12). California's budget is something over $100 billion, and education takes up about 50% of that budget. Trying to balance the budget, while leaving education alone, doesn't seem to pass the common sense test, does it?
Let me be clear--I'm not at all happy about having less money available with which to teach. For me that comes down to doing without the overhead projector when the bulb goes out, not being able to use worksheets or anything else that requires copying, perhaps even having my classroom cleaned every third night instead of every other night. All these and more add up to an environment for students that isn't anywhere near optimal, but I recognize that money doesn't grow on trees. Cuts have to be made somewhere, and it seems ridiculous not to look at the states single largest expenditure when doing so. It would, however, be nice if those cuts didn't affect the classroom, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
The LA Times thinks the governor's current budget proposals are just theatrics designed to make tax increases seem more palatable. I guess that's possible. To all the liberals out there crying for state-run health care--and that includes the governor on this issue--I have to say this: can you imagine the boat we'd be in if the state were paying for everyone's health care? There would have to be cuts, people would do without, children and old people would suffer, etc--those would be your howls, and you would have been the cause because you are the ones that want the state government to take on that additional burden. I firmly believe that government at all levels should learn to live within its current means before ever considering taking on new permanent financial requirements.
Again: think of the ramifications for government-run health care whenever there is an economic downturn. These economic cycles, like so-called global warming, are cyclical; they will happen again. Think about what you're asking.
If you think it's ok to burden our children and their children with today's debts, more power to you--but that doesn't sound very "compassionate".
So when the CTA objects to the governor's even considering budget cuts in education (again, how can he not even consider cuts in 50% of the state budget?)--I wonder who will ask them what they think needs to be cut. Where should the state budget be trimmed in order even to attempt a balanced budget?
I think we all know what they'll say. "Tax increases." The liberals are nothing if not predictable.