A key element of Governor Schwarzenegger´s plan to balance the state budget without new taxes has been endorsed by educators, who agreed to accept $2 billion less next year than they are owed.
Under voter approved funding mandates for education, schools could have claimed an increase of $4 billion in spending. But because the state is facing a June 2005 deficit of nearly $27 billion, a coalition of teachers, school administrators and the PTA agreed to accept less.
Schwarzenegger, whose budget plan is due out tomorrow, said he will use the $2 billion in savings to plug other needs.
The governor and lawmakers have placed a $15 billion bond measure on the March ballot that if approved would be used to pay off about half of the deficit.
His new budget plan is expected to close the rest of the shortfall through a variety of cuts and savings.