State Sen. Jack Scott (D-Burbank) and several area school
superintendents gathered outside an elementary school Friday to call
attention to proposed education cuts they called catastrophic.
Each speaker blasted the Republican budget plan released last
week, which would cut 7% more from public schools in addition to the
3% already proposed by Gov. Gray Davis. Scott said cutting the
proposed $1.8 billion would be equivalent to eliminating 378 schools,
laying off more than 29,000 teachers or shortening the school year by
Burbank Unified School District Supt. Gregory Bowman said it’s
impossible to sustain programs with the current “funding roller
The cuts proposed in the Republican plan would take $11 million
out of Burbank’s $100-million budget, Bowman said. While he was
hesitant to speculate what would disappear in light of those cuts, he
said 82% of the district’s budget goes to salaries.
Because of the possibility of such cuts, about one-fifth of
Burbank teachers were notified they could be laid off, Burbank
Teachers Assn. Co-President Kim Allender said. The move has led to a
“rock-bottom low” in morale, he said.
While Scott did not present a complete alternative to the
Republican plan, he said tax increases, not just budget cuts, need to
play a role in balancing the state budget.