Desperation is growing in Central Contra Costa's schools as leaders wait for the next swing of the budget axe.

As they watch helplessly, the governor and the Legislature have begun to wrestle with a budget deficit that could more than double from $11.2 billion next July to $24.5 billion the following year.

The Mt. Diablo district school board this week decided that it could no longer limit kindergarten class size, nor will it spread cuts over all programs. Now it can cut whole programs. "This is just totally unreasonable," said Superintendent Gary McHenry.

Moraga's schools chief echoed his frustration. "It is extremely anger-producing to have the legislators dicker for 85 days and pass a budget that from day one was doomed to failure," said Superintendent Richard Schafer.

Expected state cuts could take $5.5 million from the Acalanes high school district and the Lamorinda and Walnut Creek elementary districts that feed it. The full stories are on Page A3.



Advertisement