Education

No relief in sight for financially strapped schools

Friday, May 14, 2010

The May revision is creating a standstill budget for K-12 schools in the Bay Area and across California.

Some teachers, like those in Cupertino, are lucky to have the financial support of parents and their community.

Cupertino parents presented a $2 million check to their school district to help keep teachers in the classroom.

"We all moved to this community because when you think of Cupertino, you think of excellence in education, so to watch our schools and our teachers be changed or be gone, we were not going to accept that," said parent Linda Cell.

District employees and teachers also agreed to take five furlough days to help balance the district's budget. It represents, of course, a pay cut. Still, it also means there will be no layoffs next year. That is not the case in other Bay Area districts.

"I am like, 'yay for me' and all my co-workers, but for other people it just must be so difficult," said Cupertino teacher Elizabeth Allen.

Take the Berryessa Union School District in East San Jose where 86 teachers received pink slips in March. After some budget cuts, 59 positions were restored, meaning 27 teachers will likely be unemployed next year.

"I'm sure those teachers will finally realize that there is no reprieve this time, there is no return," said teacher Bhopinder Dhillion. "They will be very, very upset and I think they will probably feel a sense of emptiness."

The community does not have the means to raise the money it would take to keep these teachers. Many there were hoping the governor would allocate more funds for education in his May revision.

"It's very sad, very sad," said parent David Martins. "Us, as parents, are unstable with our jobs and now our children are unstable at school. It's very sad."

Last year many school districts cut music programs, arts and sports; this year it was layoffs. The question many districts are asking themselves now is, what will next year bring?

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Tags:
cupertino, san jose, school layoffs, school cuts, budget cuts, california budget crisis, education, lyanne melendez
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