Chanting “education, not incarceration,” about 300 school children and educators protested budget cuts to schools at the state Capitol. The students ranged in age from 1st graders to high school seniors from several Bay Area schools. They spent the day urging lawmakers and Governor Davis to spare schools in next year´s spending plan.
Davis´ spokesman Russ Lopez says the state is facing an unprecedented $34 billion shortfall in next year´s budget, and all state departments will be cut.
Chief among the protesters´ complaints was that schools were seeing deeper cuts than prisons. Lopez says schools get about 40% of the state´s budget, while prisons get about 5%, and both will get less money.
In the budget plan released in January, Davis trimmed about $1.7 billion from education, resulting in about $40 billion earmarked for schools.
Davis will release a revised budget proposal next week.