Budget projections at public school districts, already a guessing game, were scrambled once again this week following Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to suspended negotiations with Republican legislators. The breakdown in negotiations, which would have provided for a June referendum to allow California voters to decide whether to extending current tax rates, transformed the districts’ worst-case scenarios into impending reality.
With state funding cuts potentially reaching twice the totals suggested by earlier projections when June tax extensions were still possible, school officials say they are preparing for drastic changes in the way they approach public education.
Gary Mortimer, a financial consultant with Burbank Unified, said the change could severely challenge educators.
“Burbank has been able to be really responsive to the needs of children and offer a very good education,” said Mortimer, himself a product of Burbank schools. “I think with the budget cuts looming like they could, it is going to have an effect on the district’s ability to maintain a high level of education.”