Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How Bad Is The Financial Crisis In California Affecting School Districts?

From the major Sacramento newspaper:
Every major Sacramento County school district is in financial peril, as are some in neighboring counties, state officials say...

In the 2006-07 school year, only 22 school districts throughout the state made the roster of the financially troubled. By June of last year the number grew to 174 districts. So far this year the state register tallies 110 schools.

State schools chief Tom Torlakson says things could get much worse if proposed tax extensions aren't put on the ballot and approved by voters...

(Sacramento County schools superintendent David) Gordon said he's not sure if Sacramento County schools will be able to absorb the estimated $600 in cuts per student that districts may face if the tax plan doesn't pass and Proposition 98, which mandates minimum state aid to schools, is suspended.

"Now they are down to the point where many of those reductions will take negotiations with their unions," Gordon said. "You can only increase class size so much"...

Nearly 2 million students – roughly 30 percent of the students in California – attend schools that are in financial jeopardy, the state Department of Education says.

As I say, we're in deep 22. And still, too many people pretend there's nothing wrong and want to continue down the road we're on.

17 comments:

Mavor said...

Darren:
That is all hogwash. The school should just teach. Should it not? Why should it do anythings else? It is the patents job to take care of everything else. If the student does not learn, it is not the teacher's fault. Did they do all of their homework? Did they listen? Pay attention? If they do not it is not the teacher's fault.

Mavor said...

Balderdash. We can't afford any extras. Students should enter the classroom, sit down, shut up and follow directions. If they do not flunk them and make rooms for students who want to learn.

Darren said...

I don't see how your comments address anything in this post. Could you clarify?

Mavor said...

Yes, you said:
"As I say, we're in deep 22. And still, too many people pretend there's nothing wrong and want to continue down the road we're on."

I say there is plenty of money, if it was not spent on things that have nothing to do with learning. For example, how much does the average high school spend on just it's football team? I would be willing to bet that the average high school spends three or four times as much on the football team as it does the library. It is insanity and a huge waste of money. That is not to mention other teams. Take swimming, for example. I bet they spend more on heating the pool than they do on supplies for the classroom teacher. Schools need to focus on learning the subjects not all this other stuff. An how about school buses. Shouldn't it be the parents responsibility to get the kids to school. Cut out the extraneous and there would be no problem. It is just, that over the years the liberals have turned schools into social engineering labs.

Darren said...

Now I understand, thank you.

pseudotsuga said...

Well, according to Michael Moore (the well-known economic genius....oops, wrong Moore--I mean the left-wing filmmaker) we have it all wrong. California's not broke (if we can apply his theory about Wisconsin and Michigan to California), but rather the problem is the rich people have all the money! And it's not THEIR money--it's OUR money! Thus, we just need to force those rich b@st*rd$ to cough up their dough.
There--problem solved! This is what democracy looks li--umm...maybe that's not democracy after all. But at least there's money for schools now! We can use all that windfall to fund CALPERS, too! Win win win!

mazenko said...

Some people are "pretending there is nothing wrong" because the fundamental argument - that we are broke - is invalid.

It's not that there is no money. Disagree as much as you want with the facts, but this country is awash in money. That's true in both assets and cash - lots of it.

The problem is allocation - and that's a political issue.

Anonymous said...

Mavor, I bet you're totally in support of cutting funding for the arts, too, huh?

Mavor said...

Less so because it is cheaper and it is more likely to lead to employment. Plus, I like music.

Mavor said...

The arts? I would be more inclined to have arts in schools than football. I mean a football team, other sports as well, is so expensive to maintain and only a small fraction of student can even participate. In addition, it really does not at all fit in to the mission of a high school the focus should be on the science, mathematics, and literacy. Elective should, first and foremost, be ones that have a reasonable chance of leading to a career. Music, painting, sculpture and other arts have a much better chance of leading to a career than football. Plus, besides being expensive and not leading to meaningful employment, football, we are learning is very damaging to the body. Blown out knees, cervical injuries, and traumatic brain injuries are very common in football. It make no sense to spend hard earned taxpayers money on such a damaging sport. Furthermore, the same taxpayers end up paying for those injuries through high medical insurance. It would be far better to take that money an use it for metal shop or something else that could reasonably result in employment.

The point is we have to eliminate those things that do not support the core mission of schools.

pseudotsuga said...

No, the country is not awash in money. To pretend otherwise is to indulge in wishful thinking or even class envy. The cash really isn't there, unless we do magical accounting to pretend it is, or scream at the rich people who are just "sitting" on all that money they could spend on solving our problems.
It's not a problem of allocation--there just isn't enough there to go around, and what's there is borrowed with a huge repayment bill looming in the near future.

mazenko said...

Largest economy in the world. Largest concentrations of wealth in the world. $4+ trillion in corporate cash reserves. Hundreds of billions of dollars in venture capital funds. Record profits in finance, technology, health care, natural resources, military supplies and services contracting. Highest corporate pay in the world. Record bonuses in corporate pay. Historic lows in taxes paid (not rates - actual payments).

Lots of money. Miserable accounting.

Darren said...

Thankfully, the *governments* don't own all that wealth. Governments are broke because they're spending more than they have.

mazenko said...

Or because they simply don't collect enough revenue to cover the spending.

Both points of view are valid - it all depends on your politics.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, mazenko. There are about 3.5 million households with net worth over one million dollars in this country. Their average net worth is 3.7 million. If we just confiscated ALL of it, that's about 13 trillion dollars, which would ALMOST pay off the national debt or cover the current federal deficit for 8 years.

Of course, this would wipe out a lot of businesses, so revenues would drop substantially after we did this. And after the confiscation, we'd still be broke. Sorry. Part of California's problem is that we rely too much on taxing the top earners, and those people turn out to have incomes that fluctuate a lot with the economy. You want to raise revenues? We'll have to raise taxes people who make less than 45K a year.

-ChemProf

mazenko said...

Oh, yeah, I was really arguing we should immediately confiscate all their assets to pay off the debt. What a ridiculous comment.

I do agree that all income levels should share in the tax burden. However, it should be relative. Which it is currently not.

Those who benefit the most from the economy also have the greatest responsibility to maintain it.

High School Diploma said...

Nowadays, its now become common that California is facing financial crises in education sector... but i didn't hear that government has taken further step in this situation...