Debate Surrounding Cuts to School Districts Intensifies

California Governor Jerry Brown announced a Fiscal Year 2013 budget plan last week that includes large cuts to education spending, should voters reject proposed tax increases to help balance California’s budget. In what some are calling a “ransom note on education”, $4.8 billion would be cut from education spending, if a November vote on higher income and sales tax rates does not pass. These cuts could be a major blow to districts that depend heavily on state funding to operate. The contentious debate surrounding education spending is playing out in other parts of the country as well. Nearly half of the school districts in Texas are suing the state legislature because of $5 billion in cuts made last year. Lawsuits have also been filed by districts in Florida, Kansas, and other states. The pressure on local school district budgets is likely to continue, as districts must cope with lower state funding as well as lower revenues from property and sales taxes.