Video: Students Tell Gov. Brown His ‘Budget Blows’

As schools across the state face budget cuts year after year, students and community members used an unusual medium to send a symbolic message.

Hundreds of bubbles floated out into Jefferson Avenue and streets across Redwood City Thursday morning as to tell Governor Jerry Brown this his budget was not adequately funding their schools.

“The school’s not getting enough money for all the fun stuff for students, like field trips and science,” said Roy Cloud student Anastasia Lubarsky, 8. “And Governor Brown isn’t getting this message.”

Bubble-blowing rallies at nine schools—Clifford Elementary School, Orion Elementary School, Roy Cloud School, North Star Academy, Selby Lane Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary School, Adelante Spanish Immersion School, Kennedy Middle School and John Gill Elementary School—drew attention to the problem of continuously slashed funding for public schools, especially ones in Redwood City because it is a revenue-limit district. This means it relies heavily on state funding because property taxes alone do not fund the state minimum per student.

To return the cuts made at the beginning of the school year, Gov. Brown is relying heavily on voters to pass tax measures in November.  

However, school districts must draft budgets by June, without knowing whether or not they can bank on the potential funding from the tax measures.

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Steve Hayes March 23, 2012 at 02:02 AM
"How demeaning." Why is that demeaning - just because you did not get your way? Every school district does the same thing - they all give an exemption to Seniors. And by the way if 7,300 (as you reported) voted yes in 2009 that means only about 4,100 voted against it.
Starchild March 23, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Stephanie -- Objecting to government school students being used to promote more government spending seems pretty libertarian to me. Am I missing something? Steve -- What's wrong with kids selling lemonade?
Starchild March 23, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Or they could cut the salaries and benefits of government officials and employees who receive more compensation than people doing similar work in the voluntary sector. Or they could cut back on education administration and put more resources into the classroom. There are plenty of things they can do without sticking it to the public by raising taxes again.
Starchild March 23, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Steve - Government spending and government debt in this country are also more out of control than they were in 2009, and were more out of control then, than they were three years before that, and so on -- so the need to resist even more tax and spending increases is more obvious now. Look at the details of government spending on educational administrators, sweetheart union contracts, etc., and you'll find plenty of room to make cuts that can be used to fund more money going to classrooms, without sticking it to the public with higher taxes. Is it fair that poor people, or people who own property but are on fixed low incomes, should be forced to subsidize the education of wealthy people who choose to send their kids to government schools? I don't think so.
Lois Garcia March 23, 2012 at 04:23 AM
There is already an overabundance of money in local government budgets. The problem is its allocation. If your elected officials do not spend your money appropriately, vote differently. See past Measures C, A and H for the San Mateo Community College District for a great example of $675 million dollars in taxes for "education", none of which went to the students or teachers. February 2012 San Jose Mercury News: "Three months after Redwood City residents approved tax measures deemed by city officials as critical to maintaining essential services, the city council will vote Monday on recommended raises for two high-profile employees." (These raises were approved.) "The two city employees are not the only ones in line to get a bigger paycheck. Salary increases were given to most of Redwood City's employees..." While some people get raises out of taxpayer money, those same taxpayers are losing their jobs, and on top of that, you want to raise taxes? From the Redwood City 2010-2012 Adopted Budget: "Locally, evidence of the recession has been confirmed by a decrease in the number of San Mateo County residents holding jobs and increasing commercial office vacancy rates." "The unemployment rate in San Mateo County has increased from 8.3% in March 2009 to 9.8% in March 2010." "Santa Clara County’s unemployment rate has also increased from 10.8% in March 2009 to 12% in March 2010."


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