California education leaders told to brace for big budget cuts

Evan Halper:

Educators say Arnold Schwarzenegger told them to prepare for immediate cuts of $2 billion to $4 billion. They say the governor also plans to keep pushing for a sales tax hike.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told education leaders this morning that he will push for a tax hike and deep cuts to schools to help close the state’s yawning budget gap, according to several participants in the meeting.
The news, delivered in a conference room outside the governor’s office, came as a shock to the educators, who were told to prepare for immediate cuts in the range of $2 billion to $4 billion.
“There is just no way we would be able to cut that much,” said Scott Plotkin, executive director of the California School Boards Assn., who was at the meeting. “For virtually every district I know of, this would be catastrophic.”
Administration officials confirmed that the meeting took place but refused to discuss details.


Facing a $3,000,000,000 deficit, it is hard to see how significant increases in redistributed state tax dollars will find their way to K-12 school districts over the next few years.