Even as costs skyrocket in response to the coronavirus crisis, California school districts face major funding cuts that could potentially lead to teacher and staff layoffs and leave some schools struggling to safely reopen campuses in the fall, according to district officials and educators.
The proposed budget hit to schools, about $19 billion split over the next two years, worsens their existing financial challenges and does little to help with pandemic-related costs.
Responding to the revised budget unveiled Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, president of the California School Boards Assn., acknowledged that Newsom faced difficult choices in confronting an estimated $54.3-billion state deficit that materialized just as quickly as the coronavirus.
But the share of damage borne by schools is too great, she said.
“This budget would be insufficient in ordinary times, and is less than what is required for most schools to reopen safely during a pandemic,”