Budget creation is an ugly process.
In the state of California, the budget battle impacts education funding dramatically and school districts are currently working on Plan A (cut some millions) and Plan B (cut a lot more millions). As my district administrators contemplate how much deeper cuts go and how many more programs will be lost, we sit and wait for news from Sacramento that determines which plan is put into place.
The new Governor (Democrat) has a solution: continue collecting revenue from the temporary tax extensions instituted by the previous Governor (Republican). It is not the perfect cure, but is staves off Plan B. It is also not a decree, but a vote from the people that determines the outcome….IF the measure reaches a ballot in a special election. The problem is that a core group of State Senators (Republicans) are pressuring their caucus members not to vote. The current report is that the measure is shy two votes in each state house, the Assembly and the Senate. The state is being held hostage.
There is no guarantee that the proposal would get voters approval, but at least the voters weigh in and own the decision. At least some decision would allow school districts to develop realistic operating plans for next year. The budget reality shapes teaching and learning now and for the future.
We need advocates to take this conversation out of the back halls of Sacramento buildings and into the voting booths. Too often we watch and wonder what will happen next. We wait for someone to tell us our fate. We plan with possibilities and fear the results.
I am sick of waiting.