The Los Angeles Times zeroes in today on the “flexibility” debate in California education during this budget crisis: whether the government should cut the strings attached to dozens of school funds that are earmarked for specific purposes. The article looks specifically at the questions about state money meant to keep classes small:

“What’s most offensive is that eliminating class-size reduction won’t save the state one dime,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Assn., which is launching a television ad blitz this weekend urging Californians to call Schwarzenegger and their legislators to oppose the proposal. “Districts will continue to receive that funding from the state but won’t have to spend that money on class-size reduction, or, frankly, even in the classroom.”

San Diego Unified trustees have expressed interest in getting more flexibility on funding, but many share the reservations about money meant to keep classes small. The LAT article quotes a Schwarzenegger spokesman about those worries:

“If a school district believes class-size reduction is one of the highest priorities, nothing in the governor’s proposal will prevent them from being able to carry it on,” said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the state Department of Finance.

EMILY ALPERT

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