From Bad To Worse: District Braces For Potentially Yet Another Round of State Cuts

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Perhaps we thought this thing was about to get better.  The Stock Market had its best week of the year.  California legislators just less a month ago came to a budget agreement.

But just when we thought we had dodged the worst of it, the next shoe has fallen.  The state Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor announced that due to the falling economy and declining tax revenue, state revenues will be another $8 billion lower than expect next fiscal year.

Said Mr. Taylor:

“Unfortunately, the state’s economic and revenue outlook continues to deteriorate.”

Moreover, Mr. Taylor’s report said he is “extremely reluctant to recommend that the state raise any more tax rates.”  That would mean the entire budget deficit would have to be made up through spending cuts.

Friday was already supposed to be Pink Friday, in protest of the cuts to education.  Perhaps Pink Friday was not descriptive enough.  Perhaps for California it should be called Black Friday.

A record number of teachers–26,000 according to the Office of the Secretary of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell–were given pink slips or potential layoff notices on Friday, the last business day before the annual March 15 statutory deadline for districts to issue layoff notices for the coming school year.

“School districts up and down this state are sending out pink slips to tens of thousands of hard-working, dedicated teachers, administrators, and school staff.  Cuts of this magnitude will have devastating effects in our classrooms across the state.

Before the current cuts were enacted, California already ranked 47th in the nation in per-pupil spending.  These current cuts are sure to push us further down the scale. Our future depends on our ability to prepare the next generation for success in the hyper-competitive global economy. The budget crisis and the teacher layoffs we are now witnessing makes that challenge much, much harder. In order to deliver the quality education our students need we must get off this budget roller coaster and find a stable, long-term solution to education funding. Our future depends on it.”

And yet we now know that these 26,000 cuts are probably a best case scenario as the fiscal situation continues to deteriorate.  Here we are just two months away from the May elections that were needed to balance the budget agreement from February and now that budget agreement is already out of date.  What more can be cut from the state budget?  How much more of a hit can education afford to take?  Where else can we find money without trying to raise revenue?

Senate Leader Darrel Steinberg:

“We will solve the challenge outlined this morning by the Legislative Analyst with the same intensity that we solved the $42 billion problem in February.  It should come as no surprise that the Nation’s economic downturn continues to severely impact California’s budget – retail sales continue to decline and unemployment continues to rise and American families lost $5.1 TRILLION in the last 3 months of 2008. 

Like thousands of businesses and millions of families, state government has less money to spend.  But moms and dads will continue to get their kids off to school. Sick people will need an emergency room. There will be fires to put out. Criminals to prosecute. And elderly people to care for.  Fortunately, the action we took in February makes what we face more manageable.”

But how much more manageable?  What is left to cut?

Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said yesterday that schools were already counting on the federal funds for a more immediate purpose, easing billions in cuts necessitated by last month’s budget deal.  Even before the new round of numbers, public schools were expected to take a $5 billion hit in program cuts in the next budget.  Now that is going to get much worse.

“To say that’s suddenly going to be used to backfill further cuts would be a major blow to schools that already are on their knees with the cuts that have been made.”

What does that mean for Davis?  As we reported yesterday, already the teachers and other employees were weighing in on the possibility of taking a pay cut.  However, the suggestion started moving around the district that because the district pulled back eight of the PKS notices, that meant that the district had found more money.  That is far from the truth.

The way this works is that the district has to notice everyone within the scheduled cut group who has the same seniority level.  Once it gets discovered who is transferring and who is on leave they can adjust the list.  That is all that happened yesterday.
In fact on the contrary it would seem that the world is about to get worse rather than better.  We have no way of knowing what the result is going to be from the latest $8 billion shortfall.  We also have no way of knowing if this is going to be the bottom for the next fiscal year or if there will be yet another downward adjustment before the May revise comes in.

How much of that $8 billion will come from education?  What else is there going to be to cut?  Those are unanswered questions, but the district may have to deal realistically with an additional $1 million that it has to cut.  That means perhaps another 10 teachers on the block.   Or perhaps the teachers can step up and do what people have done across the state and take pay cut.  I just do not know how bad things are about to get.  But as they said last week, I really do not think we have seen the worst of this.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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56 thoughts on “From Bad To Worse: District Braces For Potentially Yet Another Round of State Cuts”

  1. differentview

    I think you should back off on the incessant pressure telling the teachers to accept a pay cut. Why put that in this story which is primarily about changes in the budget outlook? The teachers and union have made decisions that are within their perogative to make. A 4% pay cut is a large hit to a family budget, especially in times of crisis. In comparison, last year’s parcel tax was what, 0.2% of income for a Davis family with a median level of income of $65,000? Doesn’t this seem grossly disproportionate to you?

    Whether its comfortable or not, the pressure should again be placed on the Davis families, who actually have their children being educated in Davis schools (many of the teachers can’t afford to live in Davis). It’s beyond my understanding why all the pressure is being pointed toward the teachers, and virtually none toward Davis families.

  2. David M. Greenwald

    Are you joking? You don’t understand? Maybe it has something to do with Measure Q, W and the efforts from the Davis Schools Foundation. Maybe it has something to do with the six percent payraise that the teachers got just two years ago that contributed to this problem. Davis families have give a lot and now they face losing teachers and programs because the teachers won’t do what every other public employee group already has–take a salary cut. So yeah, if you want another 10 to 20 teachers fired by all means, let the teachers off the hook.

  3. Doug Minnis

    Teachers have struggled for generations to get their salaries where they are today. They are still not that good.If salaries are cut it will be difficult to ever get them back up. That will make their promised retirement short, Pink slips are not the way to go either. To accept these two as the only alternatives is to give up on our schools too easily. I take the Sacramento news release that there may be an additional 6-8 billion shortage as an invitation to send the Davis Schools Foundation another check. I am on my way to the Farmer’s Market and if they have a stand there I will make additional contributions. For me this is payback for the great education my children and grandchild got in Davis as well as an investment for the neighborhood children.

  4. differentview

    Are you serious?

    Yes, I’m serious. Add up all the Measure Q and W funds, plus DSF contributions. What is the percent of family income in Davis? I believe it is much lower than 4 % or 2% or even 1%. It is our children who benefit from Davis high quality schools. If we don’t want a decline in quality, then we should pay. I don’t want to pay more, or particularly like paying more, but I’d rather do that than have all the blame put on teachers and make them shoulder the burden of a world-wide recession (caused to a large extent by housing market speculation, which many Davis families have signficantly benefitted from).

    Putting this all on the teachers doesn’t make sense to me, but maybe I’m just not as smart and self important as you.

  5. differentview

    Are you serious?

    Yes, I’m serious. Add up all the Measure Q and W funds, plus DSF contributions. What is the percent of family income in Davis? I believe it is much lower than 4 % or 2% or even 1%. It is our children who benefit from Davis high quality schools. If we don’t want a decline in quality, then we should pay. I don’t want to pay more, or particularly like paying more, but I’d rather do that than have all the blame put on teachers and make them shoulder the burden of a world-wide recession (caused to a large extent by housing market speculation, which many Davis families have signficantly benefitted from).

    Putting this all on the teachers doesn’t make sense to me, but maybe I’m just not as smart and self important as you.

  6. Another view

    Putting this all on the teachers doesn’t make sense to me.

    You are assuming Davis parents have not seen any impact to their own salaries. That is a bad assumption. I expect UCD to cut salaries by 10%, in some form.

    I agree, if you have not been impacted then give more than you gave last year.

  7. Mike Hart

    This isn’t a temporary adjustment- there are fundamental changes coming to how we pay for things. Two things will emerge as necessary for any long-term solution:

    1) Teachers Unions need to allow administrators the ability to fire based on ability and merit rather than seniority. That or just go away.

    2. Parents of children in school are going to need to make personal financial contributions to keep their children properly educated.

    Education is not a right- it is a privilege.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    “Education is not a right- it is a privilege.”

    In our society it’s not a privilege, it’s a requirement. That puts it closer to the former than the latter.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    [i]The teachers and union have made decisions that are within their [b]perogative[/b] to make.[/i]

    The union has that right, but does not have the power to impose its will on the Board.

    [i]A 4% pay cut is a large hit to a family budget, especially in times of crisis.[/i]

    A 4% pay cut — coming on the heals of an 8.5% pay increase — is far less difficult to absorb than a 100% pay cut. Yet the DTA has indicated, given the choice, it prefers 50 people in the DJUSD lose 100% of their income “in times of crisis” than everyone keep 96% with no one disemployed.

    —-

    I’m sure it was just a typo, but the word is “prerogative,” not “perogative.” I often hear people mispronounce that, as if it were spelled in the latter fashion. Its Latin roots mean to ask (rogare) + before (pre). In ancient times, folks with the privelege of voting first had [i]prerogative[/i]. Related English words with that same [i]rogare[/i] root include abrograte, arrogate, interrogate, subrogate and surrogate.
    [url]http://lexicondaily.blogspot.com[/url]

  10. Ph.Diva

    “Whether its comfortable or not, the pressure should again be placed on the Davis families, who actually have their children being educated in Davis schools…”

    “2. Parents of children in school are going to need to make personal financial contributions to keep their children properly educated.

    Education is not a right- it is a privilege.”

    David is absolutely right. Education in America is pretty much a right.

    Again, more of this sentiment (families should pay) from people who apparently do not understand the benefit of a well-educated populace to -all- people.

    Education is for the commonwealth of the nation. It’s a pay-it-forward system, and apparently that’s how the state law sees it as well, since everyone pays for it via property taxes, regardless of whether or not they have children in the public schools.

  11. wdf

    “In our society it’s not a privilege, it’s a requirement. That puts it closer to the former than the latter.”

    If you want to maintain our current standard of living in the world.

    Matt Rexroad had an interesting criticism somewhat connected with this issue.
    [url]http://www.rexroad.com/tabid/59/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1971/President-Obama.aspx[/url]

  12. Mike Hart

    there are a lot of people who have grandiose visions of what “rights” society has promised them. While it is common sense that we should provide adequate education to children, the responsibility is entirely on the parents to make sure that this happens. In this case, there is a budget shortfall, the parents have a responsibility to their children to step up and fill the gap.

  13. Duke

    What is the percent of family income in Davis? I believe it is much lower than 4 % or 2% or even 1%….*different view*: The whole problem is currently, EVERY public service we receive(some use public services quite often and some very rarely)can make the very same claim! Have you forgotten about the water and sewage rate battle that is FAR from over? Those rates increase by 10%+ every year. Have you even noticed that? There are way too many hands in our wallets, all the time taking more. We’ve already lost $25,000 out of one 401k in the past few months. How you doin’?

  14. Rich Rifkin

    [b]”Education is not a right- it is a privilege.”[/b]

    [i]In our society it’s not a privilege, it’s a requirement.[/i]

    You don’t mean [i]education[/i] is a requirement. You mean [i]schooling[/i] is. Many attend school. Far fewer are educated.

    As Mike Hart says, parents are the key. Children with the misfortune of being born into families and subcultures which treat schools as government-funded babysitters are at a big disadvantage. It’s not the fault of the teachers that the kids they are assigned to educate come from homes which lack role models and support structures needed to make education possible. What’s amazing, nonetheless, is that many kids who do come from these forlorn families still manage to succeed.

  15. Ananymous

    One can bicker at length about how much Davis families could or would pay. The political reality is that Davis voters WILL NOT VOTE TO PAY MORE TAXES right now. We just lost 50% of our income when my spouse was laid off. We do not have guaranteed defined benefit retirement plans as the teachers and public employees do. There’s a war brewing between citizens in the private sector with no retirement plan and health benefits and the public employees who think they should be paid more. It’s not a matter of what teachers are “worth” – it’s a matter of THERE ISN’TANY MONEY. Get real or be laid off is the choice we all face.

  16. David M. Greenwald

    “The political reality is that Davis voters WILL NOT VOTE TO PAY MORE TAXES right now.”

    We actually do not know that. Some people suggested that they wouldn’t vote for W and W got three-quarters of the vote.

    What we know is that it’s really not an option. So either teachers are going to lose their jobs or teachers are going to take a paycut. That’s the reality right now.

    And I agree, teachers do not get paid what they deserve and their health benefits are crappy. But right now we do not have the money to pay teachers what they deserve.

  17. Davis parent

    Doug Minnis said: I am on my way to the Farmer’s Market and if they have a stand there I will make additional contributions. For me this is payback for the great education my children and grandchild got in Davis as well as an investment for the neighborhood children.

    Thank you Doug! If more parents and grandparents in Davis had your spirit we wouldn’t be in this mess. If everyone contributed something no one would have to give very much. Consider-my niece and nephew live in SF and their parents pay $40,000 a year to educate them in private schools. My kids in Davis get a comparable education for “free.” Actually not for free because of wise people like Doug.

    My check to the DSF will be in the mail this week. Anyone else?

  18. Bonnie

    You may want to wait, I’m hearing that DSF may only do a very targeted fundraising drive this year and that the money would not go to prevent teachers from being fired.

  19. madame shoes

    “think you should back off on the incessant pressure telling the teachers to accept a pay cut. Why put that in this story which is primarily about changes in the budget outlook? The teachers and union have made decisions that are within their perogative to make. A 4% pay cut is a large hit to a family budget, especially in times of crisis. In comparison, last year’s parcel tax was what, 0.2% of income for a Davis family with a median level of income of $65,000? Doesn’t this seem grossly disproportionate to you? “

    This is typical of all teachers. They expect everyone else to suffer while they still get their COLA and benefits and high pay. Same as law enforcement unions, pretty much all government unions. They are worse than the mafia. They are selfish and it’s sick and disgusting to me that these teachers are willing to let students suffer. The tax payers are sick and tired of forking out all this money for less than adequate education and services. Teachers rule with an iron fist. They destory children’s lives by belittling the less fortunate students and are never held accountable. The union is there to do nothing but serve and protect the rights of teachers to oppress students, families and taxpayers. It’s time to stop
    TAKE THE PAYCUT!!! EVERYONE ELSE IS. It’s time for you to do it.

  20. Julian Anderson

    The past two or three columns on this blog continually been pressuring teachers to take a pay cut. It is obvious where Greenwald stands on the issue. I expect the pressure to continue.

  21. Julian Anderson

    The past two or three columns on this blog continually been pressuring teachers to take a pay cut. It is obvious where Greenwald stands on the issue. I expect the pressure to continue.

  22. David M. Greenwald

    I think beyond obvious–I’ve stated it flat out numerous times. (A) I believe that teachers should be paid $120,000 per year if not more with good benefits. (B) We cut from the state budget $7 billion from Education. (C) We are facing another $8 billion in cuts statewide. (D) In Davis we have a $3.1 million deficit. (E) We cut several positions from the administative office. (F) The public passed Measure Q in 2007 and Measure W in 2008. (G) The public donated $1.7 million in 2008 to avoid 114 layoffs. (H) The District has cut everything they can from the budget but still were in the hole.

    So now we have a choice as to how to balance the budget. It’s a horrible choice. But it is what it is. To date no one has come up with a viable alternative means to balance the budget.

    So we have to face reality. We can fire 40 teachers or they can take a small and temporary paycut and enable all teachers to remain employed during the worst economic crisis of our life times and enable Davis to keep the bulk of its great educational programs.

    My position is for the latter. I hate to advocate it. But to me it is the only way to go. I’m sorry that I have to do it. But I do it. That is my position. I will not hide from it.

    BTW, so people know where I am coming from. I was a huge backer of Measure W. I went to the mat for it. But I made a promise. If the community backed Measure W, that was it. I would not ask the community for another dime of money for this district until Measure W expired. I am keeping that promise.

  23. David M. Greenwald

    I think beyond obvious–I’ve stated it flat out numerous times. (A) I believe that teachers should be paid $120,000 per year if not more with good benefits. (B) We cut from the state budget $7 billion from Education. (C) We are facing another $8 billion in cuts statewide. (D) In Davis we have a $3.1 million deficit. (E) We cut several positions from the administative office. (F) The public passed Measure Q in 2007 and Measure W in 2008. (G) The public donated $1.7 million in 2008 to avoid 114 layoffs. (H) The District has cut everything they can from the budget but still were in the hole.

    So now we have a choice as to how to balance the budget. It’s a horrible choice. But it is what it is. To date no one has come up with a viable alternative means to balance the budget.

    So we have to face reality. We can fire 40 teachers or they can take a small and temporary paycut and enable all teachers to remain employed during the worst economic crisis of our life times and enable Davis to keep the bulk of its great educational programs.

    My position is for the latter. I hate to advocate it. But to me it is the only way to go. I’m sorry that I have to do it. But I do it. That is my position. I will not hide from it.

    BTW, so people know where I am coming from. I was a huge backer of Measure W. I went to the mat for it. But I made a promise. If the community backed Measure W, that was it. I would not ask the community for another dime of money for this district until Measure W expired. I am keeping that promise.

  24. wdf

    “The median salary of a Davis teacher is about the same as the median income of a Davis household.”

    When were these statistics (median income)measured? Before or after the recent stock market crash and state budget agreement? How does Davis median household income account for UCD college students, who likely don’t have any dependents? Are college students included? Although I can appreciate the sentiment, I am suspicious of placing significant meaning on this statement.

  25. Rich Rifkin

    [i]The past two or three columns on this blog have continually been pressuring teachers to take a pay cut.[/i]

    Isn’t it fairer to say, “The past two or three columns on this blog have been pressuring teachers to understand that the District is millions of dollars in the red, its income is going down even more, and that all employees of the District, not just teachers, need to take a pay cut, so that a number of valuable employees are not wiped out entirely and so that children don’t suffer the consequences of that?”

  26. martin

    The alternative to the City not spending more than assured future revenue is explained in the following article:

    http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_11914102
    Bankruptcy judge opens door to employee contracts being voided
    Ruling holds that federal bankruptcy law trumps state labor law
    By Times-Herald Staff
    Posted: 03/14/2009 01:11:11 PM PDT

    A bankruptcy judge has ruled that the city of Vallejo might be able to void contracts with two key employee groups as a way to escape bankruptcy.
    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael McManus, in an 11-page ruling issued late Friday, held that neither state law nor a 1979 state Supreme Court ruling in a Sonoma County case prevents the rejection of the contracts with city firefighters and electrical workers.

    McManus held that federal bankruptcy law supersedes any state labor laws, but stopped short of voiding the two remaining contracts that have yet to be restructured by the city. Those contracts are set to expire next year.

    Instead, he strongly suggested that negotiations continue in an attempt to work out deals with the firefighters and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

    Two months ago, the city reached agreements with city police and a union representing management workers.

    McManus also noted that in hearings last month the city indicated that it used some of $136 million from so-called special purpose and enterprise funds for labor costs. While he said he believes that those funds can’t be used to offset most labor costs, as the unions have argued, McManus said he wants a hearing on March 23 to further discuss how much can be used.

    In a press release, the city said it was pleased with the ruling and chided the unions for fighting the bankruptcy petition.

    “The efforts of labor to challenge the city’s insolvency at a time of an unprecedented
    economic downturn and the labor groups’ ongoing intransigence regarding the modifications to their labor agreements has cost the city more than $3.5 million in bankruptcy costs,” city spokeswoman Joann West said in a statement.
    You can view the ruling at http://www.ci.vallejo.ca.us in the bankruptcy section.

  27. Rich Rifkin

    [i]McManus also noted that in hearings last month the city indicated that it used some of $136 million from so-called special purpose and [b]enterprise funds[/b] for labor costs.[/i]

    I was recently informed by a member of our city council that the City of Davis has done — increasingly so in the last 3 years — papered over its general fund deficit by shifting expenses (i.e., labor costs) from the general fund to an [b]”enterprise fund.”[/b] In other words, the salary (and pension and benefits, etc.) for a public works employee gets moved out of the general fund, where it was heretofore, into an [b]enterprise fund.[/b] And where does the extra money in the enterprise fund come from? Higher rates for water, sewer, etc. It was explained to me that this is done because the City can raise the rates for utilities without a vote of the public, even if its expenses for water, sewer, etc. have not increased. This process strikes me as unfair and dishonest. Had the City — going back 10 years — not massively increased its pension plans, this never would have been necessary. So today, in order to fund unaffordable pensions for highly paid “public servants,” old folks and others with meager incomes have to pay for more for their City Services Bills.

  28. sauras

    Oh my David are you asleep at the switch? Rifkin violates your censorship terms of usage on the Pinkslip Friday blog comments and nothing happens. Yet when I criticize him it gets censored. Please tell me its an oversight.

  29. David M. Greenwald

    I didn’t censor anything, but you can send me a message through the system and show me the violation. There is an automatic filter on this new system however, I don’t know if that came into play.

  30. sauras

    9-14 9:32 pm post by Rifkin in previous thread on Pink slips David someone even cited it but still you leave it up so I guess when I start pointing out Rifkin’s racist rants about sterilizing young women you’re going to leave that up too.

  31. David M. Greenwald

    I don’t have time for this. Send me the specific offense and I’ll deal with it. For now on, I’ll only handle these matters if they are emailed to me.

  32. wdf

    “You may want to wait, I’m hearing that DSF may only do a very targeted fundraising drive this year and that the money would not go to prevent teachers from being fired.”

    I’m not with DSF, so I don’t know what they’re discussing. But I think I can make a reasonable guess:

    Last year, one of the logical questions that came up in their fundraising campaign is “What happens to these programs after next year?” The answer was, we’ll probably see if we could have a parcel tax (Measure W). It’s hard to go out and fundraise for the very same thing (same programs) two+ years in a row.

    This year, I guess they could try to fundraise for teachers, but there aren’t quite the specific programs at risk that there were last year. Plus, what do you say to the question, “What happens next year to these positions?” Suggesting to pass another parcel tax doesn’t cut it this time.

    It would be nice if they could fundraise for teachers, but it becomes a harder sell this time.

    So it may be more likely this time that teachers really will be at risk of losing jobs. I pray and hope not, but it’s hard to see a way out.

  33. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I start pointing out Rifkin’s racist rants about sterilizing young women”[/i]

    For the record: 1. I’m not a racist; 2. I’ve never said or done anything racist; 3. Nothing I’ve ever said or done could be interpreted by a fair-minded person as racist; 4. It’s cowardly as hell to call someone a racist when you hide behind a false name.

  34. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Arguing that we should pay poor young women to be sterilized is as racist as any eugenicist of the 1930’s or 40’s.”[/i]

    You are simply not a fair-minded person. Anyone who would falsely accuse someone, me in this instance, of being a racist is a horrible act of cowardice on your part. You don’t know me in the least; and your inference that I have said or written something which is racist is a figment of your paranoid mind. For anyone who is interested, I am going to post my entire column (split into multiple posts) on this subject here, which was published in the August 8, 2007 Davis Enterprise. Fairminded people can decide if my intent is to harm anyone or any group based on race, as Saurus says I have:

    [i]A couple of weeks ago on the Adam Carolla radio show (106.5 FM), Adam and his sidekicks were discussing a story in the news about overcrowded prisons in California.

    Two federal judges had just ordered the creation of a special panel to study ways to relieve the congestion. The judges said the panel should consider capping the total number of inmates and releasing convicts early in order to fix the problem.

    Although the California legislature had only a few months ago approved a $7.8 billion plan to construct new prisons and jail cells across the state, Judge Lawrence Karlton of Sacramento and Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco declared that building more prisons and more jails was not the answer. [/i]

    (Continued)

  35. Rich Rifkin

    [i]They said the problem is that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is too large – it cannot manage its personnel and cannot adequately serve the needs of physically and mentally ill inmates in our state. Constructing more facilities would only worsen the institutional affliction.

    Carolla smartly observed that the source of the prison problem is the same for almost every societal challenge we have in the United States – losers having kids. Way too many kids.

    Overcrowded prisons and courthouses, gangbangers and drug wars, not enough money for schools, overpopulation, too few cops, violence in the streets and so on – all of these troubles on a societal level are (in large part) the result of women and girls who had children but were unprepared to provide a loving, supportive and structured home where their kids would grow up mentally and physically healthy, Carolla said.

    Women who complete their education, wait to get married and make sure they have enough money to raise their families are not the issue. These women not only raise better children, they give birth to far fewer. Our prisons are not packed to the rafters with felons who grew up in stable, two-parent households.

    Young girls who drop out of school at fifteen, who were raised in chaotic homes led by unstable single mothers who probably had substance abuse issues, are (for the most part) the mothers of our endlessly growing prison population. They have no idea how to take care of themselves, let alone raise a family. [/i]

    (Continued)

  36. Rich Rifkin

    [i]Yet, as Carolla pointed out, they keep popping out kid after kid. Infertility never seems to be an issue with this group in our population.

    It’s simple enough to see what has gone wrong with our society. It’s harder come up with a workable solution. After listening to Adam Carolla a fortnight ago, I came up with the answer:

    We need to give adolescents who grow up in terribly problematic households – where they have a single uneducated mom or guardian with no stable job, in need of public assistance for food, housing and medical care and a history of substance abuse, criminality or mental health issues – a strong incentive to never have kids.

    If those youths don’t reproduce, then the problems of prison overcrowding, gangs, school violence, et cetera eases dramatically down the road.

    So what would be that incentive? How about $35,000. That’s what it costs to incarcerate one prisoner for one year in a California prison. That doesn’t include the price of building the prison in the first place or the tens of thousands of dollars per criminal per year we spend trying to prevent crime.

    If these miscreants were not born in the first place, we would additionally save thousands of public dollars on their medical care, housing and schooling. We would have far more money left over to make California a better place to live for everyone else.[/i]

    (Continued)

  37. Rich Rifkin

    [i]I am not advocating, nor do I favor, forced sterilization. My plan – paying 18-30 year old men and women who meet the “problematic” criteria $35,000 to get sterilized – would not only make life better for everyone else in our state, it would make life better for those who take the money.

    Because of the misfortune of their births, they come into this world without much capital, physical or human. This would give them a start. They could use the money to open a small business, to travel and see the world, to pay for a technical education or to make a down payment on a house or an apartment. Without kids and with a decent bankroll, they might have a chance in life to become productive citizens. And even if they don’t, their not popping out four, five or six more children they cannot properly raise will be a great benefit to the rest of us.

    My guess is the three-judge panel on prison overcrowding won’t come to this reasonable conclusion. Yet the only long-term solution to housing and caring for too many prisoners is to produce fewer prisoners in the first place.[/i]

  38. earoberts

    Mr. Rifkin, who is going to decide who is going to have a problematic child? You? A character assessor panel? Who will be on that panel? And why do you place all the onus for the ills of society on females? How about the males that impregnate them? Let’s encourage males from dysfunctional families to become sterilized? Why was that never mentioned by you? Frankly, this entire discussion is off topic and assinine.

    Furthermore, your comment about “Soreass” in a previous post was totally inappropriate. Calling people names is not the way to win an argument.

    And by the way, quoting articles endlessly, and putting forth huge amounts of verbiage is not particularly convincing to anyone.

  39. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Mr. Rifkin, who is going to decide who is going to have a problematic child? You? A character assessor panel? Who will be on that panel?”[/i]

    I answered this in my piece: “adolescents who grow up in terribly problematic households – where they have a single uneducated mom or guardian with no stable job, in need of public assistance for food, housing and medical care [b]and[/b] a history of substance abuse, criminality or mental health issues.”

    [i]”And why do you place all the onus for the ills of society on females?”[/i]

    Two reasons: 1. Females get pregnant; and 2. Females exclusively are rearing these children.

    [i]”How about the males that impregnate them?”[/i]

    The adult males in this population abandon their families and their responsibilities and are largely in prison or on their way.

  40. wdf

    Pink slip demonstrations, articles:

    Lodi:
    [url]http://www.facebook.com/s.php?init=q&q=george del gobbo&ref=ts&sid=6810917e25ed7523c81e014c674f826c#/group.php?gid=33870889944&ref=ts[/url]

    San Joaquin county, arts programs cut:
    [url]http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090316/A_NEWS/903160313/-1/A_NEWS04[/url]

    San Francisco, getting $23 million from city rainy day fund:
    [url]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/11/BAJ516CTA6.DTL&type=education[/url]

    Los Angeles, 8,800 pink slips:
    [url]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/11/BAN516CUJ3.DTL&type=education[/url]

    Berkeley, superintendent says this is the worst budget in his 35 years:
    [url]http://www.insidebayarea.com/education/ci_11792219[/url]

    In case you’re curious what could happen to a school district that doesn’t appropriately balance its budgets, check out Oakland USD. The state takes over:
    [url]http://webportal.ousd.k12.ca.us/docs/17304.doc[/url]

    Rural California:
    [url]http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CLOSING_RURAL_SCHOOLS?SITE=TXDAM&TEMPLATE=EDUCATION.html&SECTION=HOME[/url]

    College Ed. cuts, Sacramento:
    [url]http://sacbee.com/topstories/story/1703174.html[/url]

  41. Jonathon Howard

    I’m new to the site and the discussions, I just had a question about how much of the troubles the city and especially the school district are facing have to do with the city’s growth restriction (commercial and residential). If the city had allowed some of the proposed developments that came before the council and were eventually rejected would we still be having this discussion?

    I realize that everyone is taking a hit. I wonder though if the hit would have been less to the city and school district if they’d had the money from a Target and Trader Joe’s and some sub developments for younger families?

  42. Don Shor

    Welcome to the Vanguard, Jonathon.
    Money from Target and Trader Joe’s doesn’t go to the school district at all. Sales tax revenues go to the city, which also gets money from property taxes and fees.
    High growth cities are having budget problems that are much more severe than Davis. The only thing that increases the revenue to the district is an increase in enrollment, which also causes increased costs.
    The main budget problem has to do with the state providing less money per student than it has in the past. DJUSD has a good overview of where funding comes from at their web site: [url]http://www.djusd.net/[/url]

  43. Don Shor

    Here’s the breakdown of DJUSD funding, from that site:
    “The District’s adopted budget for 2008-09 shows projected revenue of $74 million. A few small funds – adult education, childhood development, self insurance, cafeteria, maintenance, and facility and building funds – contribute a combined total of $4 million. The General Fund accounts for 94% of revenue, or $70 million.

    Within the General Fund, 86% of revenue comes from the state of California (a portion directly from local property taxes) and is largely calculated based on student attendance. The remaining revenue comes from the federal government (4%) and local parcel taxes and fundraising (10%). This year local revenue includes a $1.5 million grant from the Davis Schools Foundation.”

  44. earoberts

    Like I said before, who is going to be judge of who comes from a dysfunctional family? You? A panel of judges? A “Dysfunctional Board” of some sort? Sterilizing males from dysfunctional families would make more sense than doing it to females, since males can spread their seed infinitely. However, the entire argument is just plain assinine. Last time I looked, the gov’t doesn’t get to decide who is dysfunctional and who is not, and hand out money accordingly.

    Jonathan makes an interesting point. If there had been more housing development, enrollments in schools would be up, and therefore the argument goes that there would be more money available for the schools. Only problem with that pro-development vision is that bc of the current budget crisis, our schools would still be short lots of money. The side effect of too much development is that more city services are required, city services that Davis cannot afford to provide, since it also is in a fiscal crisis.

    I would have said more commercial development would be helpful, that generates greater tax revenue. But cities that have big box retail are having huge fiscal problems too, as these stores are not taking in as much revenue. Doesn’t seem as if there is a way out of this economic mess, other than to start cutting back on spending, employees taking pay cuts to keep people employed, and all of us try to weather the storm together in the same leaky boat!

  45. wdf

    “If there had been more housing development, enrollments in schools would be up, and therefore the argument goes that there would be more money available for the schools. Only problem with that pro-development vision is that bc of the current budget crisis, our schools would still be short lots of money.”

    There are only two California school districts that I have found so far that seem to be significantly immune from state budget cuts. San Francisco received $23 million from the city, and Natomas USD did not have to issue any pink slips. I don’t know enough about Natomas to know how they did it — probably very conservative budget policies, though. Natomas seems to be an area of high growth and development.

    But several other communities along the I-80 corridor that might be characterized as higher growth have suffered bad school budgets (perhaps defined as having to issue pink slips to teachers) — Vacaville, Fairfield.

    And here’s an article on Rocklin USD:
    [url]http://www.rocklintoday.com/news/templates/community_news.asp?articleid=7242&zoneid=4[/url]

    Roseville area schools (including Granite Bay) had to cut $8 million, which included pink slips.

    Other districts that might be immune are what are called “basic aid” districts, which derive more than enough property tax to fund their district without the need for state money (called, “revenue limit”). Examples of basic aid districts are Palo Alto and Piedmont in the Bay Area. To have a basic aid school district, you need lots of expensive housing, much much more than what Davis has.

    If you look at all of the school districts that have been hit by budget cuts, you might be able to argue that some districts could have been more conservative. Perhaps districts in general will be more conservative in their budgeting after this economic downturn.

    But given the demands put on schools to be accountable to show improvement and to serve all students, probably the bigger sin is not being rich.

  46. wdf

    Thursday’s school board agenda is posted at

    [url]http://davis.csbaagendaonline.net/cgi-bin/WebObjects/davis-eAgenda.woa/wa/displayCalendar[/url]

    Highlights: demographic survey, P2 interim budget, achievement gap

  47. skeptic

    Davis Teachers and DTA have been hammering away at the claim of under-enrolled classes. I would challenge them to define what under-enrolled means, and which specific class are indeed under-enrolled. All I ever really see is Chinese 5, which doesn’t even exist this year.

    And cutting those classes, if they exist, however, doesn’t save teachers. It just shifts which ones get cut. Maybe it’s the ones who don’t agree with DTA leadership.

  48. Jonathon Howard

    When I mentioned the Target and Trader Joe’s it was merely connected to the property taxes that they’d be paying to the school district. I know this wouldn’t get rid of any school districts fiscal problems entirely. I imagine any reduction in the damage would be welcomed by the Davis School District Superintendent.

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