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Educators Unhappy With Schwarzenegger Plan

Educators haven´t given many high marks to the governor´s proposed education reforms so far, and some say they are preparing for political war.

Schools believed they would make out better in the governor´s plans for 2005-2006 because of a handshake agreement they made with Schwarzenegger a year ago. Facing another big deficit next year, Schwarzenegger has proposed taking another two billion dollars from what schools say they are entitled to under the Proposition 98 funding guarantee.

In the state budget plan last year, education took a $4billion hit, says Calaveras County Superintendent John Brophy.

“Two billion of that was supposed to be repaid to us in the near future, and he´s basically reneging on his promise to do that,” Brophy says. “Part of his budget plan is to pay us back sometime for that money in the next fifteen years, so I hope I´m alive when it finally trickles down at that point.”

Tuolumne County Superintendent Joe Silva says he was surprised by Schwarzenegger´s suggestion to move from tenure to merit-based pay for teachers.

“I know that it´s been tried in several states, and my understanding is it´s not been successful. Maybe the governor has a different approach on it, I would like to see that,” Silva offered.

A coalition of the state´s largest education groups plans to meet tomorrow to consider a strategy for challenging Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his much disliked spending plan.

Superintendents Brophy and Silva were our guests this week on Mother Lode Views on AM-1450 KVML.