During his campaign for governor, Jerry Brown received millions of dollars from the California Teachers Association (CTA), supposedly to buy his favor and support for teachers. In return, Brown offered educators more cuts, furloughs and layoffs once he takes office.
“Please sit down if you’re reading the stories on the budget,” he told a crowd at UCLA on Tuesday, calling the situation “an unprecedented moment of reckoning.” He suggested that the crisis might have worse effects than the Great Depression. California has a $28 billion deficit for the next 18 months. This is in addition to a $2 billion drop in Proposition 98 (education) funding for next year, guaranteeing that schools will take a big hit, even if the rest of the $28 billion comes from elsewhere.
While K-12 education takes up only 40% of the state budget, it has been saddled with 50% of the cuts in recent years, totaling $21 billion over the last two years. Some blame the cuts for the rising dropout rate and low test scores.
As Dead Kennedys presciently sang back in 1979
I am Governor Jerry Brown
My Aura smiles and never frowns
. . .
I will command all of you
Your kids will meditate in school!
That’s right. With evaporating school funding schools may have no other choice than to have kids meditate on content standards, because they won’t have enough books or teachers. Students who are sick or injured can meditate their pain away, as there won’t be any nurses. They can meditate at lunch time while they stretch and do their downward dogs, because there won’t be any more physical education classes.