But if you were to believe many who have begun blasting Governor Schwarzeneggers 2005-06 budget since it was released on January 10, youd be led to believe that this years spending proposals included draconian cuts to everyone depending on the services of the state.
Nothing, however, could be further from the truth and the actual numbers bear that out.
Lets take a look at the General Fund portion of the state budget. Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed spending $85.7 billion this coming year. That is a $5.2 billion increase over last year. Thats more than $5.2 billion more to the General Fund without raising taxes something Ive fought hard against in my two-plus years in Sacramento. When you compare General Fund spending to just a few years ago, the increases are even more dramatic. Since 1998-99, revenue to the State of California has increased nearly $28 billion from $57.8 billion to its current year project of $85.7 billion.
Clearly the numbers show that California doesnt have any problem generating revenue.
More specifically, if you look at the education portion of the budget you will see equally dramatic increases over the last several years despite what you may have recently heard through paid advertisements from the California Teachers Association.
In the ad, the president of the CTA uses terms such as Because of state budget cuts
.theyve (the governor and Legislature) got to stop balancing the budget on the back of our children. The ad has gone as far as to say education spending has been cut by nearly $10 billion over the last several years.
But once again when you look at the numbers youll see that schools will be receiving billions more in funding this year compared to last and spending for students has steadily risen for several years.
Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed spending $50 billion on K-12 education this year compared to the $47.1 billion last year an increase of $2.9 billion. Education spending, which makes up more than 58 percent of the general fund budget, has increased from $35.6 billion in the 1998-99 fiscal year to $50 billion this year.
The $2.9 billion in spending represents an increase of more than $350 per student. The state is proposing spending $7,374 per student, compared to $7,012 per student in last years budget and $5,751 per student in the 1998-99 budget.
Disagreeing with Governor Schwarzenegger is one thing, but being intellectually dishonest in calling an increase a cut is another.