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State Education Cuts About As Bad As Feared

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An early morning budget deal last Thursday may have meant relief for some, but not for county schools Superintendent Dick Glock.

What was once supposed to be a $6.8 billion cut to education ended up being an $8.6 billion reduction in spending over two years, likely forcing schools to lay off teachers, slash salaries and postpone spending on construction and textbook purchases. The proposal also would give districts greater flexibility in spending money that is normally dedicated to specific programs.

"So regardless, the number’s a little higher than what we’ve publicly stated," Glock said Friday. "It looks like at least the $1.2 million (budget cut) we’ve planned for."

Glock quoted one state education official as saying teachers were "witnessing the destruction of public education."

"I don’t know that that’s exactly right, but it certainly changes (education)."

A glimmer of hope arrives from the fact that 11 classified employees and at least eight teachers have accepted early retirement incentives.

"While we may not be able to save positions, we will be able to save people, and that’s what it’s all about anyway" Glock said.

The district notified 11 classified employees it was moving forward with the layoff process earlier this month. Teachers will have to be notified about possible layoffs by March 15.

The state also imposed a 10 percent across-the-board cut to the University of California and California State University systems, saving $264.4 million. Voters will be asked in May to modify Proposition 98, the voter-approved minimum school funding guarantee, to protect education funding when state revenue rebounds after lean budget years.

Written by Raheem Hosseini. Amador Ledger-Dispatch

The Associated Press contributed to this report.