Posted by the prisoner's wife On 7:43 PM
Today we had a faculty meeting after school, which aimed to inform us more about the budget cuts, new info from the district, and securing our teaching positions for the fall. As many of you know, as of June 30th, I won't have a teaching position with the district unless they find some money and resend the layoff notices. Until now I have been very lackadaisical about our state's and our country's fiscal crisis. Yes, I'm worried about being unemployed, long term, but I haven't been stressing about it. What can I say? I'm blessed to not allow things stress me out too much, even when everyone around me is going crazy. But today, after Governor Schwarzenegger's speech, and hearing of the drastic cuts he wants to make to our social services and education programs, I'm terrified.
According to the LA Times, the Governor's plan would trigger "a dismantling of the state's CalWorks program, which serves more than 500,000 poor families with children, as well as the elimination of Healthy Families, which provides medical coverage to 928,000 children and teens." Moreover, the Governor's proposed cuts "would save $909 million by eliminating prisoners' substance-abuse counseling, vocational training and educational programs, and commuting the sentences of nonviolent offenders a year early."
Once again, the state's neediest residents--mainly poor women and children--will be deeply effected by the proposed budget cuts. I am always amazed that in the midst of any fiscal crisis, when people are in need the most, states scramble to cut services aimed to help people who really need it. Most people hearing the news about California's budget issues have the luxury of watching from the side lines, shaking their head at the loss of jobs and benefits of millions. But it effects me, tremendously. For too long my state and my school district have mismanaged funds, spent beyond their means, and haven't operated with the future in mind. The chickens of fiscal irresponsibility have come home to roost.
For once, I am scared. I'm afraid that my state which houses the 8th largest economy IN THE WORLD, will fail, not only forcing out state into insolvency, but also further tanking the whole US economy. And then where will we be? Fewer social services to depend on, less jobs to go around, less hope, less opportunity. The Golden State's sheen has definitely dulled, and for once, I'm really considering jumping ship before it's too late.