But today I. Am. Furious.
Last night my local television news station (which I pretty much never watch and probably never again will) reported on the deal reached in the ongoing California budget talks. The reporters explained that a deal had been reached. That no taxes had been raised.
I quietly thought about what that really means. I thought about the tax this budget crisis is charging my kids. Their future. Our future.
Then the reporter went on. There would be borrowing from local governments. There would be cuts in social services. But education would be spared. I was surprised. Pleasantly so. I called my sister-in-law this morning and told her what I'd heard. She's one of the pink-slipped teachers, waiting to learn if she'll be re-hired for the fall. This was good news for her. I thought.
Then I saw this on NPR:
Although the cuts will prove painful, Schwarzenegger tried to put the best face
on the cuts, saying the money taken from education "will get fully refunded" and
that the budget would prove "more efficient" as a result of the tightening.
Huh? Money. taken. from. education.
Again? (You see, I have a long memory when it comes to stealing money from kids-- this isn't the Governor's first time "borrowing" from education.)
And then the truth (also from NPR):
calls for no new taxes and $15 billion in cuts, with the remainder of the
shortfall to be closed by borrowing from local governments and one-time
accounting measures. Education took the biggest hit, with $6 billion in cuts to
K-12 schools — money state officials have promised to reimburse when the state's
fiscal health recovers. Another $2.8 billion will be cut from state colleges and
Call it what you will. We have put our kids at risk. Again. In the name of not raising taxes. But it's all semantics. You say a $6 billion cut to public schools is a spending cut. I call it a tax on education. I call it increased class sizes. I call it fewer classroom days. I call it less money for special education and general education. I call it less opportunity for growth and enrichment. I call it a tax on children.