While the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) still faces budget cuts, California voters’ approval of Proposition 30 this week greatly reduces the severity of cuts in the state’s third largest school district, according to a press release issued by LBUSD.
The school district still must trim $20 million this year, but had Prop. 30 failed, LBUSD would have faced a $35-million annual reduction in funding. The school district has already cut more than $330 million and 1,000 jobs since 2008.
“Voters have sent a clear message that California must stop the drastic cuts to our public schools,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. “We deeply appreciate this vote of confidence. We know that money is tight for so many Californians, yet they continue to make education a top priority. The passage of Prop. 30 is a step toward stabilizing funding for public education, and it’s a morale booster for our employees and parents who have felt the brunt of state budget cuts for far too long.”
LBUSD’s elected Board of Education will consider where to trim the budget further in the coming weeks and months, but the passage of Prop. 30 means the school district won’t face stunning cuts such as a one-month reduction in the school year or the elimination of entire programs like high-school sports and elementary music– all items the school board had put on the table before the statewide election, Steinhauser said.
“We still face lean times. Prop. 30 doesn’t solve all of our fiscal woes, nor does it make up for the billions of dollars of cuts that public education has faced statewide in recent years, but it makes our budgeting and planning much more manageable,” Steinhauser said. “That means we can continue to provide an outstanding education for our more than 80,000 students.”