The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


California Budget Plan Voices

  1. What is your perspective on the current funding towards teachers and education on the state level?

“I feel like the funding is not going in the right places … If you look at [teacher] raises and benefits, and also when you see our infrastructure at our schools. The funding is not going where I think we really need it, and it’s affecting the teachers and students” — English Teacher Eun Ah Kang

“I think the budget cuts are going to have short term consequences and long term consequences on the state level. With a decrease in the level of education, our workforce is going to be less educated and less efficient, and it may have some unforeseen long term consequences.” — Daojing Lin, 10

“California spends a lot less per student than a number of other states do, so I would say that California, given the amount of wealth we have within this state, does not spend as much on schooling as it should.” — Katherine Williams, World History Teacher

  1. Why do you think Newsom set out the specific course of action for the budget? Do you think it was the right move?

“It is understandable because we do need to make budget cuts somewhere, but I think this was a wrong move for making budget cuts in the education sector because you can take budget cuts and other less vital sectors.” — Daojing Lin, 10

“From my understanding, a fairly large part of our budget does go toward education, so if Gavin Newsom’s goal is to not have a budget deficit while not raising taxes, I understand why education would be part of the things that are cut.” — Katherine Williams, World History Teacher

  1. What changes would you propose to make to the budget plan, specifically toward education?

“I guess there should be more funding toward teacher shortages and student support services. For low income students, there’s a lot of barriers or challenges to their learning, so I think that there should be more focus in that area.” — Cyril Macasero, Civics and Gov/Econ teacher 

“There’s a lot of programs that are really important and especially focused on students’ mental health that I’m worried might get cut. For teacher shortages, I think that having living adjustments, especially after the inflation we had, is important to allow teachers to afford to live in the communities that they’re a part of.” — Katherine Williams, World History Teacher

  1. How do you think Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget plan would affect California’s education system

“Gavin Newsom’s budget plan will lead to less capable teachers, and also less funding, which means less pay for teachers and worse education for everyone. That means in the future, California may not have a competitive advantage. Right now we have Silicon Valley and other big tech companies, but this may lead to these big tech companies moving to other places where they can find a better educated workforce.” — Daojing Lin, 10

  1. What effects do you think the budget will have on California and society as a whole?

“I think some of the more severe consequences could be that UC’s would no longer rank as high because just the sheer number of applicants to UC’S and the quality of students would decrease. This would just apply to California and other states would get ahead.” — Daojing Lin, 10

“If they’re going to make drastic cuts, I believe, in the long term, it will have a negative effect as far as the value of education in society. If government or leaders aren’t putting any focus on it, then it’s going to signal to families and communities that they’re not going to prioritize it in their lives.” — Cyril Macasero, Civics and Gov/Econ teacher

“I think that, for regular people, they might not notice any big differences, because we’ve had surpluses and budget deficits so many times throughout our history. For the schools, I think that they will probably feel the impact of having less money to spend on things.” — Katherine Williams, World History Teacher

  1. How else do you think California’s education system should be improved?

“I feel the system could be improved through better supporting teachers. At our school, we’re very well supported by our administration, but I know that in many other districts, that support is not there … It’s about [the system] trusting the teachers to do their jobs, and giving them support, both financially and mentally.” — English Teacher Eun Ah Kang 

“I think we should get more funding and pay the teachers more because I feel like as a student, a lot of my teachers feel unmotivated and they also cheese a lot of their work.” — Daojing Lin, 10

“I would say that my biggest thing would be to hire more people because I think that if I had a class of 20 instead of a class of 34, it would allow me to give a lot more one-on-one support, which I think would be really valuable. I think that there should be more teachers in order to have smaller class sizes.” — Katherine Williams, World History Teacher

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