Bill bashes school funding: Arnold Schwarzenegger, who campaigned for governor touting his love for public schools, is now using his muscle to try to reduce education spending by changing the amounts guaranteed under Proposition 98.
Among those concerned about the proposal is the nonprofit California Budget Project. The think tank this week released a report saying that the initiative, backed by the business-heavy coalition Citizens for California, would impose a spending limit that would let the governor reduce funding for schools and transportation.
The governor, in a proposal submitted by Assemblyman Rick Keene, R-Chico, supports the idea of a constitutional change to the proposition voters approved in 1988 that guaranteed a minimum level of school funding. The total drop could eventually be as high as $600 per student in kindergarten through 12th grades. Per-pupil spending in California is already $720 below the national level.
Get on the bus: Representatives from the California State Student Association (CSSA) are trying to round up students for what they are calling “a day of action.”
Nicole DeMartini, director of legislative affairs for the Associated Students, said students will have a chance to go before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee in Sacramento on April 20 to voice their opinions on proposed tuition hikes and financial-aid cuts outlined in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget.
“We’re going to help frame the debate,” DeMartini said. “And that’s critical.”
The A.S. reserved three buses for the trip that will transport up to 150 students. Renting the buses cost $3,000, with half the price tag being covered by donations from the faculty union as well as private donations. The other half is being pulled from the A.S. emergency reserve funds, which DeMartini says “is truly an investment.”
The trip will begin with a rally in the Free Speech Area at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
Chugging liquor… bad: Chico State senior Kevin Hallmeyer, 21, pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of furnishing alcohol to minors, which carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail.
Hallmeyer allegedly supplied the alcohol that nearly cost the life of 19-year-old Richard Amador, who was taken to Enloe Medical Center by Hallmeyer and Sigma Chi President Blake Peltz. Amador had a nearly lethal blood alcohol level of 0.496. Sigma Chi has since been suspended by the university and the national chapter.
Intervention time: The county supes voted in closed session Tuesday to file an administrative intervention with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in hopes of getting a better deal out of the Oroville Dam relicensing process. While other entities involved—namely Oroville—say the state is being fair in its proposal to mitigate for the impacts of the dam, the county has long complained that the dam is a cash cow for Southern California and state water contractors and a drain on the local economy.