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Murrieta Schools Could Face $19M Shortfall, Official Says

Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed education budget for 2012-2013 assumes voter approval of tax increases.

If Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax hikes do not pass, the Murrieta Valley Unified School District could face a $19-million shortfall, a school district official said Thursday.

"It's safe to say that before his budget proposal, we had about an $11-million shortfall," said Stacy Coleman, Murrieta Valley Unified assistant superintendent of business services. "If his tax increase passes it's $11 million; if it doesn't pass it will be a $19-million problem."

The governor in December proposed a statewide half-cent sales tax increase for four years and a 1- to 2-percent tax hike for Californians who earn more than $250,000 a year.

Voters could be asked to vote on the proposed ballot initiative in the November general election.

Brown lobbied for support of his initiative Thursday in San Diego. Brown said if voters don't support a proposed November ballot initiative to raise taxes—the state will cut $5.4 billion from its budget, which could mean a school year with three fewer weeks.

"We need to get a consistent flow of funding to the schools. Of course, to get that money we're going to ask you to support the temporary tax because that's completely for the schools," said the governor of a state looking to close a $9.2 billion deficit. "If we don't get that $6 billion, we're going to cut—you better believe it. It's not a threat. I'm just telling you it's just the way it is. Education is a bigger part of the budget—it can not be ignored."

Unsure of what its 2012-2013 state revenue will be, Murrieta Valley Unified has asked its labor unions to negotiate salaries. The initial contract proposals were approved by the school board in its meeting Thursday night.

Coleman and members of the school board attended a workshop in Orange County this week in an effort to better understand the governor's January budget proposal.

The governor's proposed education budget for 2012-2013 assumes passage of the tax hikes.

"It is a very confusing budget," Coleman said. "Even though we got a lot of information, there are still so many unknowns."

Hoa Quách of Poway Patch contributed to this report.

Secrets of Safety January 21, 2012 at 04:02 AM
You are right, presuming nothing can be done to stop what is happening. Giving up and waiting for it isn't going to stop it either, that's suicide. But, I agree with you. There doesn't seem to be enough interested people, to stand up and demand it stop. And that is the only thing that will stop the fall. Because it isn't something that can't be corrected unless "as you imply" we continue to sit and watch the ground approaching at breakneck speed.
Tonto January 21, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Its going to hit the ground hard. Contrary to all the upbeat, positve progress the media and State is belching out CA is the #1 BK in the country.
Secrets of Safety January 21, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Yes, and that's the fatalist attitude California citizens have lived with for the last 40 years. We keep hiring pilots from the same school of thought and can't figure out why the plane never changes course. Kinda stupid don't you think? It's not the media or the politicians who have the answer, is it? And unless citizens stop doing the same thing over and over, there never will be a change in course. Stop letting the politicians and media lie to us. Stand up. It may not do any good, I agree. However, sitting back and complaining about how bad it is, is surly not going to help. That has been proven over and over. It COULD BE STOPPED, if enough people cared to make it stop. And it could stop immediately.
Tonto January 21, 2012 at 05:16 AM
It could. But it won't. Lets hope the Phoenix rises out of the flames and ash :)
Secrets of Safety January 21, 2012 at 05:22 AM
At least you admit "it could".

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