School cuts have staff and kids on edge

LAKE ELSINORE There are 460 students that attend Donald Graham Elementary everyday, but next year the students may have to go somewhere else.

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Because of budget cuts Donald Graham Elementary is just one school that the district may have to shut down.

"It is convenient, it is local and it is the neighborhood school," said Alma Rodriguez, a concerned parent.

Alma Rodriguez says that she might have to take her son Billy to another school next year. Billy is also concerned and does not want the school to close.

"I do not want it to close and I am pretty nervous," said Billy Rodriguez.

"They are bright little people and they are aware. We have worked very hard here at this school to try to keep that from interfering with their daily lives. You can hear the laughter and they love their school. We don't want any of the schools to close," said Jim Judziewicv, Donald Graham Elementary principal.

California's budget problems do not only effect students. First grade teacher Lori Robertson got a notice that said she was going to be laid off at the end of the year.

"I am in a situation where I will either substitute teach, which will not be the same income, or I will hold out. I hope that they can resolve the budget issues," said Lori Robertson.

Lake Elsinore isn't the only district dealing with problems. In Riverside 319 full-time positions will be cut next year to make up for a budget shortfall of $26.6 million.

The governor was in Riverside Tuesday and talked about how difficult it was going to be to balance the budget.

"What do we do? The Republicans do not like to increase taxes and the Democrats don't want to cut programs," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Some say that cutting programs and closing schools is the right move. Enrollment is down in Lake Elsinore because people have moved away due to foreclosures.

Still closing the schools and laying off the teachers is not a popular idea in the Inland Empire community.


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