K-12 funding not to blame for state's woes

By Jeannie Lopez

In response to public criticism regarding education funding, Superintendent Janet Kliegl reaffirmed at the Jan. 24 meeting that K-12 education expenditures does not represent more than 50 percent of the state's budget and did not cause the state's current budget crisis.

Kliegl explained that the district is actually getting a dismal amount of money from the budget to contribute to the schools.

According, to the Department of Finance, the state's allotment for K-12 education is $25.9 billion, which only represents 30.6 percent of general fund revenue.

The percentage of the state's budget allotted for K-12 spending has actually been decreasing over the last six years. In the 1998-99 budget year K-12 spending was at 34.3 percent.

Kliegl said schools are not to blame for the cut either. According to Strategic Education Services, several factors show that the growth in K-14 state expenditures did not cause California's budget crisis because lack of money being given to K-14 schools. From 1998-99 to 2004-05 state revenues have increased by 30 percent, compared to only a 21 percent increase for K-14 funding, while other state programs have grown by 40 percent.

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