The city will begin hammering out next year’s budget to figure out how to cover a $105 million deficit that could grow with the elimination of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency. Education funding will take an inevitable hit, and school districts have already begun sending out pink slips to hundreds of teachers. The decision comes before Gov. Jerry Brown has managed to pass his own budget, and the budget discussions come with a caveat. If the State fails to pass a proposed tax extension or some other way to increase revenue, the consequences for local schools could be even worse.
Some figures give a sense of the situation’s severity. The San Jose Unified School District will have to lay off 154.2 staff members, while Alum Rock will have to lay off 102. While these are the most severe cuts, every district is impacted, since there is so little else to cut after years of budget deficits.
There are also other consequences of the budget deficit. School libraries are expected to close, classroom size will increase, and in the East Side Union High School District, the number of counselors will be reduced to one for 2,000 students. Furloughs are also expected, and some districts may be forced to shorten the school year by weeks instead of just days.
Budget season has begun.