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Deukmejian's School Budget

February 15, 1987

Gov. George Deukmejian's budget for education, if it remains unchanged by the legislature, spells disaster for education in California. Already we have the distinct honor of having the largest class sizes in the nation and the lowest per capita expenditures for education. But we are moving forward with a certain degree of momentum. That momentum is doomed to evaporate if the current budget is passed without major changes.

Money, like it or not, buys good education. Well-intentioned boards of education, effective administration, dedicated teachers and competent classified employees are not enough. Lack of financial resources places the entire enterprise at jeopardy.

We in education cannot generate one cent of additional revenue. All we can do is to be good stewards of the funds the state chooses to give us. I take pride in our stewardship in the Anaheim City School District.

However, in order to maintain our present educational program, we need to restore $391.4 million missing from the current budget.

What is as disturbing as the overall cuts is the governor's proposal, because to make up some of the deficit, the programs targeted for termination are the programs that traditionally have helped children with special needs due to giftedness, language deficiency and poverty.

In the Anaheim City School District, these cuts will have a debilitating effect. The programs we have to serve these children have proven effective. They should be continued. However, there are no general funds available to do so. Lottery funds are too unreliable to adequately plan for these programs. Using lottery funds for ongoing programs is tantamount to designing one's household budget on one's anticipated winnings on Las Vegas gambling trips.

The schools will continue to perform and to strive for results and, yes, even excellence, but there will be an erosion of quality if adequate funding is not forthcoming.

MELITON LOPEZ

Superintendent,

Anaheim City School District

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