A budget-related bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed Thursday has sparked a division within the education community as school districts push to reverse new protections for teachers.Here's the second:
Lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 114 in the final 45 minutes of the legislative session Tuesday night. The bill protects teachers from further layoffs in the new fiscal year.
It also requires districts to ignore the possibility they could lose $1.5 billion in classroom funding in December as well as $248 million in school bus money.
Teachers say those protections ensure stability through the school year. District officials say those requirements restrict their ability to plan for a midyear reduction. They are also frustrated by the suspension of requirements that districts show how they balance their budgets for three years.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg defended a last-minute budget bill protecting teachers from further layoffs and reducing district authority, saying that Democrats preserved class sizes and education jobs.So what do these articles tell us? They tell us that the Democrats (without a single Republican vote) smooched the butt of the CTA and passed a budget that forbids school districts to cut personnel, even if projected tax revenues don't materialize and the state has to cut education funding mid-year. Districts obviously don't like this--what, pray tell, are they going to cut, air conditioning???
The proposal was backed by the California Teachers Association, which has significant budget influence. About two-fifths of the state's general fund must flow to K-12 schools and community colleges, and the union has been a reliable Democratic contributor.
"We were intentional," Steinberg said during a meeting with The Bee Capitol Bureau. "We do not want to create a situation where more teachers and classified employees lose their jobs. And we did not want to see class sizes increase."
Assembly Bill 114 has drawn fire from school fiscal officials because it reduces their authority, especially if the state imposes a midyear $1.5 billion classroom reduction should tax dollars fall short.
Anyway, here's the most honest statement coming from downtown:
Steinberg acknowledged that Democrats rushed Assembly Bill 114 through the Legislature, though he said the haste was necessary to preserve the majority-vote budget deal before it could unravel.As I said in a previous post, they're idiots.
Update, July 9, 2011: Even the Chronicle looks down its nose at this bill:
School officials across the state are frustrated and puzzled by a bill crafted in private and passed in the final hour of the Legislature's budget debate that strips districts of their ability to lay off teachers and forces them to spend money they might want to save for a rainy day.
AB114, signed into law June 30, appears to be an 11th-hour nod to the teachers union to preserve teacher jobs, fiscal experts said.
"It was pure political juice at one hour before the budget is voted on that all this stuff is stuffed in there," said Ron Bennett, president and CEO of School Services of California, an education financial consultant. "If that is the only way you can pass that ... we think that's a pretty good indication that it's not great public policy right off the top."