Wednesday, August 26, 2009
California Cuts to schools in the state budget are prompting some lawmakers and a few teachers to outline their goals for an upcoming special session on education.
Governor Schwarzenegger wants the special session to focus on netting additional federal dollars for education in California. But, teachers and a few Assembly democrats see it as an opportunity to raise taxes to shore up spending for schools. The budget included $6 billion in cuts for education. Assemblywoman Julia Brownley of Santa Monica said the cuts went too deep and were mean-spirited.
“We’ve been talking a lot about prisons here over the past week in Sacramento," said Brownley. "We can cut $6 billion for schools but we can’t seem how to figure out how to cut $1.2 billion out of prisons. Prisons, they’re overcrowded, but what about our schools? Our classrooms are overcrowded.”
Democratic Assemblyman Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara said he’ll use the special session to push a bill that would create a tax on oil production that would help pay for education. He says the measure would create a billion and a half dollars in revenues each year. But, the bill could be in for a bumpy road ahead. Governor Schwarzenegger has that he will not sign any bill that calls for new taxes while so many Californians are hurting during the economic downturn.