PALM SPRINGS – Our local schools are facing some of the deepest cuts in California history.
“This is easily the most extreme budget situation we’ve ever been in,” says Jim Novak, Palm Springs Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.
School districts started this year with an already minimal budget, fter getting shorted $3.5 million. Now, Gov. Schwarzenegger is proposing a $6 billion mid-year cut. This means about $7 million slashed from Palm Springs Unified School District.
“We are trying to save as much money as we can to weather the storm,” says Novak.
School districts are acting, taking a close look at the budget andtrying to find areas where they can save. With all of the cuts they’ve already made, any more will likely hurt the students’ education.
“There’s not a lot of fat to trim so all cuts will be painful,” says Novak.
Districts will likely once again cut more programs, supplies, and jobs.
“Due to the enormity of the cuts, you have to look at every program,” says Novak.”Everything we do to operate the district has to be examined thoroughly.”
The governor is also proposing to allow districts to cut a week out of the school year as one way to save some much needed cash. Still, educators worry these cuts will reverse years of hard work and make it difficult to reach the heightened standard of education.
“How you can except to get increased results with less resources? It is very difficult to achieve,” says Novak.
For now, districts will continue pinching pennies hoping the cuts won’t scar schools for years to come.