Anticipated cuts to the state budget have hit public education hard, with educators anticipating devastating effects on schools.
The 2008-2009 California Budget, put forth by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will take roughly $4.8 billion from programs serving the state’s 5.9 million students.
“The budget cuts have drastically affected school supplies,” LasHonne Mitchell, an English teacher at Pomona High School said.
Mitchell said that she spends around $3,000 a year from her own pocket on classroom supplies.
Mitchell uses overhead transparencies to save paper, which she said is in short supply.
“The real problem is not receiving enough resources to accomplish (needed work) in the classroom,” Mitchell said. Budget cuts, she said, will tax an already maxed-out system.
According to the California Budget Project, the proposed cuts to K-12 education, including the loss of federal matching funds, translate into a reduction of $786 per student.
According to the California Department of Education, districts have begun to reduce funding for vital school programs like music and art, advanced placement courses, international baccalaureate programs and athletics.
According to the Association of California School Administrators, March 15 was the dreadful day when layoff notices were given to thousands of teachers and administrators across the state.
These layoffs only represent a small portion of the impact the budget cuts have created.
Not only are teachers and administrators feeling the pressure of the budget cuts but tens of thousands of classified employees like temporary teachers, custodians, food service workers, nurses, bus drivers, librarians and counselors face the prospect of being laid off.
“Our students are truly the ones that suffer,” Mitchell said.
California’s students are faced with the tragic loss of teachers and school programs, which can inhibit their academic learning.
Students will face larger class sizes, fewer bus routes, less adult supervision and a lack of school supplies.
Many other services related to public schools will slowly diminish because of cuts in the funding.
Eva Vargas, a Pomona High School teacher, said that after one of her students had been accepted to a California State University their acceptance was later withdrawn due to budget cuts.
She feels that this is very unfortunate for students and can really affect the upcoming freshmen.
“The budget cut is not really affecting me,” said Gilberto Celis, an aerospace engineering major at Cal Poly Pomona.
At a president’s lunch on the Cal Poly campus, Celis received information on how budget cuts would affect them.
Celis said that Cal Poly could not have an increase in the number of students because it would negatively affect the budget.
General courses such as English, math and science will also be limited and students will have to encounter limited options for days and times courses will be offered.
The budget may not affect seniors but can have a great impact on those applying to Cal State universities.
Admissions to college will become even more competitive in the future and changes with budget concerns will make it harder for the majority who wish to complete a college education.
Maxtla Benavides can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.