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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.

justme January 20, 2012 at 09:10 PM
All these tax increase proposals and no spending cuts besides their threats. Open all of the state union contracts, that's all that needs to be done. If they did that, not that the deficit would be solved, but a huge chunk of it could be taken care of. Get rid of the double/triple dippers, people suspended with pay, insane pensions/bonuses, all of it. It all needs to be looked at with unbiased logical eyes. The unions are running this state...into the ground.
Ed P. January 21, 2012 at 12:05 AM
SD Union Tribune reported today the Brown's 2012-2013 budget has actually INCREASED from 85.9 billion to 92.1 billion. How's that for cutting government spending?
Secrets of Safety January 21, 2012 at 01:14 AM
California keeps passing more laws that encourage migration of Illegals into our state, we spend a great deal of money producing special translations of teaching materials to "educate" them, protect their "rights", now give them scholarships, and driver licenses. We house them in our prisons, and keep coming up with more and more to offer them, on top of making California one of the most business unfriendly states in our country. What else can we expect? We cannot continue to do the things our state government is (and has been for years) doing, and expect to be able to provide for the education of our children. We already have a horrible record for turning our children into some of the USA's least educated people. We have to make some changes, or it's going to continue to get worse.
Tonto January 21, 2012 at 03:40 AM
The plane is heading towards the ground is GOING to crash. Why quibble over how bad the impact is to be? "Saving the children" ain't gonna stop the fall :(
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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