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Want to know how much CA school districts have cut?

June 27, 2011

The California Budget project has a pretty revealing PDF document out that shows every district in California and the cuts that they have made overall, and per pupil.  For example, since the 2007-2008 school year, San Diego Unified has cut $60, 138,506 from the 124,008 students resulting in $506/pupil.  These cuts are simply devastating for students, teachers and the communities they serve.  I encourage everyone to take the link above and go through this document to find your school.

In response to sizeable budget shortfalls, lawmakers have repeatedly cut state spending in recent 
years. The Legislature reduced General Fund spending from $103.0 billion in 2007-08 to $87.3 
billion in 2009-10 – a drop of 15.3 percent – as policymakers responded to the dramatic decline in 
revenues caused by the most severe economic downturn since the 1930s. In 2010-11, General Fund 
spending is estimated to be lower as a share of the state’s economy than in 33 of the prior 40 
years, and expenditures will be lower under the spending plan approved by the Legislature in 
March. Recent cuts have reversed longstanding policies and have left public systems and programs 
ill-equipped to cope with the ongoing impact of the Great Recession and the challenges of a 
growing population and an ever-more-competitive global economy. 
This fact sheet examines the local impact of reductions to public school general purpose dollars, 
also known as revenue limit funding, between 2007-08 and 2009-10.

 Statewide general purpose 
funding was cut by $3.5 billion (10.5 percent) during that period, a reduction of $645 per student. 
This analysis excludes reductions to state spending other than those to general purpose funding. 
The analysis also excludes school districts with 1,000 students or less and so-called “basic-aid“ 
districts that receive all revenue limit funds through local property tax revenue.

Lawmakers cut the overall annual funding level for K-12 public schools by $6.3 billion, from $50.3 
billion in 2007-08 to $44.1 billion in 2009-10.

 Lawmakers cut schools’ general purpose dollars as 
well as funds earmarked for specific school programs, often referred to as categoricals. Adding to 
schools’ financial stress, since 2008-09 the state has also deferred $6.3 billion in payments to 
schools. The delay in payments forced many school districts to borrow and pay interest on loans or 
make program cuts.
How have schools responded to budget cuts? Recent statewide surveys indicate that the impact has been dramatic. A 
survey by the Legislative Analyst’s Office found that:
 More than half (58 percent) of responding school districts reduced their number of instructional days in 2010-11 
compared to 2008-09 and 30 percent shortened their school year by a week;
 Nearly half (48 percent) of schools ended their ninth grade class size reduction programs; and 
 More than one-fourth (26 percent) eliminated programs supported by arts and music grants. 
A University of California at Los Angeles survey of high school principals found that:
 Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of respondents reported increasing class sizes;
 Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents reported reducing or eliminating summer school; and
 One-half (50 percent) of respondents reported reducing the number of counselors, in a state that already has 
nearly the most students per counselor in the nation.
Governor Brown’s May Revision provides a $2.7 billion increase in 2011-12 K-12 Proposition 98 funding. However, 
almost all of the additional dollars would be used to reverse delays in payments to schools, so-called “deferrals.” 
Even with the increased funds, 2011-12 K-12 Proposition 98 funding would be $3.8 billion (7.5 percent) lower than the 
amount provided to schools in 2007-08.

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