In California, school budget cuts have become both familiar and troubling. This AP story, “Budget cuts more painful at inner-city LA schools,” highlights how the effects of the state's budget woes are being felt more intensely by schools that are already struggling. A little context: Over the past two years, the L.A. Unified School District has been ravaged by $1.5 billion in budget cuts and has laid off more than 3,000 teachers. And that's just L.A. (By per-student spending, California currently ranks 45th out of 50, and the governor’s 2010-2011 budget would cut funding by another $2.7 billion.)
Even the best schools are working overtime to fix the funding problem. The PTA at Wonderland Avenue elementary school managed to enlist the support of Hollywood actress Megan Fox and beau Brian Austin Green, whose son attends the school, to produce this heartfelt, if somewhat ridiculous, video. The video calls attention to the real-life effects, such as overcrowding and neglect, of the state’s very real budget crisis.
Wonderland's troubles are one thing, but the article also makes it clear that other schools in less affluent areas face ever greater challenges as they work to make up the needed funds. Until we find a lasting solution for this mess, parents who want to do something concrete can visit saynotocuts.com, which has phone and fax numbers for contacting — and protesting to — state officials.