Schools, cities outraged over cuts

March 18, 2008 9:07:57 PM PDT
The outrage over proposed school cuts is becoming a daily fare. While teachers look over their layoff notices and students show their outrage, the Governor is promising changes that could fix things in the future.

Hundreds of students from Novato High walked out of classes and marched to the district office to protest teacher layoffs and cuts to their programs.

School districts across the state really have no choice but to make the cuts, given the state's budget crisis.

"We want our district to re-think the budget cuts that they're making, some of the programs. We really want to make a statement that they can't cut necessary programs," says high school senior Michele Rinck.

"Solve the problem for good!" says Schwarzenegger.

Down in the Inland Empire, Governor Schwarzenegger says the state can ease budget cuts by constitutionally fixing the budget system itself to control spending better.

"Why are we having to cut any programs? The only reason is because one year we spend too much and the next year, we don't have any money."

He wants to impose a spending cap, calculated by averaging the state's 10-year revenue growth. Any excess above the average would put into a rainy day fund, an emergency account for bad budget years. And the Governor wants greater authority to order cuts three times a year when revenues go into the red.

Democrats denounced the Governor for touting long-term fixes to the budget that cannot help schools suffering now.

"His ideas do nothing, nothing to restore the money that we need for our schools. This is a diversionary tactic," says Assemblywoman Loni Hancock of Berkeley.

The Governor's proposals aren't that different from what he put before voters two years ago. The people of California overwhelmingly rejected his plan back then. But since economic times have dramatically changed, he hopes voters will have a change of heart