Money for students in the gifted and talented education program will also be reduced--from $60 per student to $48 per student.
The proposed cut for interscholastic athletics is $200,000 from a $1.6-million budget. A fixed percentage cut for all sports is unacceptable because it would reduce the budgets in some sports below a level that would meet safety standards. Therefore, the tough decision to eliminate some sports must be made unless increases in ticket prices and other forms of community support make up the difference.
Most of the other cuts I have proposed are less controversial. Nothing would make me happier than to have something magical occur in Sacramento that would make many of these deep cuts unnecessary. But the governor's recent announcement that the state's shortfall is now $12.6 billion suggests otherwise. I don't expect miracles to reverse the impact of the recession or repair the structural fissures in California's revenue structure.
The recession will ultimately end, but the gap between the cost of public services Californians need and the dollars generated by a flawed tax structure will not be closed without courageous leadership by our governor, legislators and other leaders who must make the case that we will only get what we are willing to pay for.