Calif. Educators Warn Of Dire Budget Consequences

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Education officials are warning lawmakers that a shorter school year, larger class sizes and teacher layoffs are ahead if the Legislature resorts to an all-cuts budget to close a deficit that once stood at nearly $27 billion.

The comments came during a legislative hearing Thursday about the effects of spending cuts on K-12 education.

Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to close the remaining $15.4 billion deficit by extending temporary tax increases that are about to expire.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson told lawmakers that 10 percent of the state’s roughly 1,000 school districts already are in financial trouble. He said cutting 10 percent to 15 percent more is “unthinkable.”

Brown wants at least four Republican votes in the Legislature to authorize a statewide vote to extend the tax hikes.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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