Friday, February 29, 2008

Forum with Michael Krasny: budget cuts

This morning, KQED's Forum with Michael Krasny featured a piece on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed $4.8 billion in cuts to public schools. You can listen to it at If you caught the show, please comment. Thanks!


  1. Very weak coverage in my opinion. I didn't really come away with any sense of how the problem will impact SF and how the impact in SF would be felt different to other districts in the bay area. The program allowed almost no participation from callers.. Weird one since it seems this really is a grass roots thing if any change will happen. Where are the protests? Where are the teacher and student walkouts? I am amazed that SF is just sitting on it's hands and there is no voice of reason. I was so close to caving into public shcools and giving them a try for my kid. Now I'm more willing to commit financial sucicide so my kid at least has a fighting chance when she gets older..

    The bottom line....... The key stat I got from the program

    California will be dead last in spending per student after the cuts.. This is not adjusted for cost of living. So in a state that has one of the highest costs of living we will actually contribute the least for each student in America.

  2. I got the impression from listening that that no one really believes the cuts will happen - almost because the schools will not be able to function if they do.
    There is so much political bull out there it is impossible for a regular person to cut through it and get to the bottom line, i.e. how will it affect us? I am as in the dark now as I was before I wasted an hour listening to this.

  3. For a much more detailed and informative look at how education is funded in California, visit the Education Data Partnership website. This link below will take you to information about how this year's budget came together. Nothing here yet on how cuts will affect things, I assume because no cuts have been made yet.

    It's important to understand that much of the funds schools get are restricted--can only be used to fund specific programs--so districts and school sites don't have the flexibility they need to be creative with their funds in many cases.

    Here's the link: Ed Data

  4. Here's another source for understanding the budget cuts:
    California School Finance

  5. This is OT but there does not seem to be a suitable place to post a general question:
    With the assignment letters arriving next week could someone who has been through this advise me please. Does the letter come with info as to what we do if we do not get any of our choices, and how we go about waitlisting etc?
    I have to travel to Europe for work late next week and notice that the registration window is not that long - I would appreciate some reassurance that the process if fairly straightforward, at least to get started if not to see through. Thanks

  6. I would contact PPS to find out what steps will be necessary. They have trained a lot of people to help with round 2 placement.

    Good luck! We're crossing our fingers.

  7. As I recall from last year, the process of round 2 and waitlisting involves submitting a second form, similar to what you did for round 1. I believe the deadline was 3-4 weeks after we received the round 1 placement. The time consuming part of the round 2 process is if you decided to broaden your search to apply to schools you hadn't previously considered. If you are committed to hold out for several that were on your round 1 list, then the process simply involves submitting a second form (in person again, I believe).

  8. I was in the Middle East during a crucial period on the second round of enrollment (I did not get any of my choices on the first round). I talked to the folks at SFUSD Educational Placement Center and they gave me an accomodation for my situation. I found them to be very helpful.

  9. In the past, the letter has come with full information on your options, so I think (I hope!) it's a safe assumption that it will again.

    Definitely be in contact with PPS immediately, and DO NOT skip the informational workshops that SFUSD holds!

    (This would seem to be a DUH, but I talked to a family last year who were on the wait list for their chosen middle school, Presidio, and they assumed the session was some kind of useless feelgood sham. They decided to go after all after I talked to them, and did get Presidio on Round 2. BTW they were assigned to Aptos, an excellent school where I'm finishing my 6th and last year as a parent, in Round 1, so both options were good.)

    We were away three years ago when our daughter was in the middle school lottery, and had our next-door neighbors checking our mail for it so they could let us know if we had to be poised to deal with the whole process. She did get Aptos in Round 1.

  10. Hi there, I already asked Kate to make this a topic, but yes, I'll ask here as well:

    Can someone please advise about strategy if you don't get one of the choices you want? Are you supposed to register at your assigned school or not? And, if you get number 7 but really want numbers 1-3, are you supposed to accept your assignment or not?

    I'd love advice on this. Thank you!

  11. The aforementioned workshops will focus on that, and talk to PPS about it as well. There are so many variables that it's really case by case.

    One point of information: There's misinformation afloat that if you get any of your choices, you can't waitlist for another one. That's incorrect; you can.

  12. I'd like to know before the workshops, since I'm told that you need to sign up for child care on the first day! So if we wait for the workshops, we miss the after care. See the dilemma?

    I REALLY want to have a strategy before Friday. If we register at our school, can we enter the second round lottery?

  13. I understand that you can, but you should confirm with PPS and/or EPC. However, don't forget that others who signed up for the child care won't all wind up enrolling in the school (a few are always waitlisting at another school or waiting for a private school or deciding to move to Marin after all) -- there's lots of moving around and shifting. So don't panic.

  14. I'm confused by the advice that whether it is strategically wise to accept your assignment (if your goal is to get into one of your top few choices and you didn't on the first round) is case by case, dependent on the circumstances. I thought, based on the information I've seen about past years, that the waitlist rankings (which is, realistically, how you would get into a high demand school -- not through the second list of seven) were affected only by whether you GOT one of your 7 choices (and by how many choices you put on your list), NOT by whether you ACCEPTED the assignment you got. Am I mistaken?

  15. You are correct last poster. Your position on a waitlist is not affected by whether or not you accept your assigned school. It's recommended that you accept you assignment (assuming it's one of your 7 choices or an acceptable alternative) and get on the waitlist for your dream school if you think this would be a substantially better option.

  16. Your position is affected by whether or not you got one of your choices; People who did not get any of their choices will be ahead of you in the wait pool.

  17. This is what I mean about case by case:

    (from anonymous poster):
    It's recommended that you accept you assignment (assuming it's one of your 7 choices or an acceptable alternative)

  18. Lorraine here:

    Go to the above link for PPS tips on Round II.

    The EPC will be providing better and more comprehensive information than parents got last year so that it will be much clearer what your options are (kudos to EPC for this! Parents really need and want this information!)

    But we won't have it till this Friday or next Monday on our website.


  19. OK we need to trim our school budget. Then lets start with the SF school dist plumbers, i have personally heard a school plumber laugh at the fact that he sits on his a-- all day to basically fix one sink in a SF school, i have to see this person on a daily basis and it just makes my blood boil when they are going to start cutting things the schools REALLY need. I know there has to be many others in various fields who do the same thing and feel they are getting away with it. Lets start cleaning up some of these things first before we start with teachers and the kids.