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December 16, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Daryl Savage at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – Fewer books, increased class size, dusty classrooms. This may be just the tip of the iceberg for school kids in California. With the state budget deficit at $20-plus billion, and headed toward $30 billion, education will be taking a big hit, to the tune of $3.1 billion in cuts, as proposed by the Governor.

“It’s crunch time. This is about real kids and real classrooms,” Assemblymember Joe Simitian said.

As a result, Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, will preside over an extraordinary hearing in Silicon Valley to provide a forum on the budget cutbacks in education, which were proposed by Gov. Gray Davis earlier this month.

Simitian, a former school board member and Chair of the Budget Subcommittee since 2001, is deeply concerned about the planned reductions. “Kids will be hurt. They’re the ones who will be directly affected by these cuts,” Simitian said. “Without additional revenue, however, our choices will be very limited,” he said.

The hearing on education funding will address the largest budget deficit in California history. It will also provide an opportunity for school administrators, parents, youth groups and others to speak and question state officials so that they can learn first-hand the specifics of the proposed reductions.

Among those slated to speak are: Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Education, and Kerri Mazzoni, Secretary for Education (invited). The session will focus on proposed cuts for K-12 and higher education.

In addition to Simitian, who chairs the group, other Assembly members on the Budget Subcommittee for Education Finance are: Wilma Chan (D-Oakland), Lynn Daucher (R-Brea), Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles), Carol Liu (D-LaCanada/Flintridge) and Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster).

WHO:  The Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance
WHAT: Public hearing on the Governor’s proposed package of $3.7 billion cuts in education
WHEN:  Wednesday, December 18, 2002, 1:00 to 4:00 pm
WHERE: Board of Supervisors Chambers, County Government Center,
70 W. Hedding St., First Floor, San Jose, CA
WHY: To assess the effects of planned reductions in education and identify alternative approaches, if any

This public hearing for the Budget Subcommitte on Education is one of a series of five hearings to be held around the state to address the budget crisis. Other hearings include the Budget Subcommittees on Resources, State Administration, Health and Human Services and Information Technology and Transportation.



Related Pages: Education, Press Releases