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Local reaction to state budget proposal

"We expected it to be bad. It's worse than we expected. ... It's going to be between a

$4 (million) and $5 million impact on our district. ... I'm hoping that the Legislature and the governor are true to their rhetoric that education is the highest priority of this state. ... This budget crisis is being solved on the backs of children. It's going to directly impact our students, employees and our community."

-- Walt Hanline, Ceres Unified School District superintendent

"I hope we can make any cuts that we need to locally as far away from the classroom as possible. We were bracing ourselves for this to happen. ... Our district is healthy in terms of the reserves we have, but

(10 percent) is an incredible amount to cut from the education budget. I think it's going to be painful for us."

-- Megan Gowans, president of the Modesto Teachers Association

"This will have a huge impact on everyone's ability to be able to maintain programs. If anyone's in declining enrollment, it just adds to the problems they're going to have. ... It's not a real shocker, because there have been a lot of road signs along the way. You look at the economy, real estate -- people shouldn't be surprised where things are going. But now's the time to be proactive and get an early jump on how we'll work on ways to adjust our budget."

-- John Halverson, Sylvan Union School District superintendent

"It's not great news at all. We're basically not going to have the money to increase student enrollment. It's just a proposal. We're going to lobby the Legislature and the governor. We just have to make sure we campaign, make sure the community is behind us. The CSU is majorly, majorly important to the state economy. We are the major supplier of employees to the state work force."

-- Hamid Shirvani, president of California State University, Stanislaus, calling from a Southern California airport after emergency budget meetings for CSU presidents in Long Beach on Thursday

"The proposals are unrealistic and could devastate school budgets, particularly (for) those (districts) in declining enrollment. Nearly half the school districts in Stanislaus County are currently experiencing year-to-year declines in student enrollment. We realize this is just a starting point and we have a long way to go in negotiating the final budget. However, we have never seen cuts of this magnitude proposed."

-- Tom Changnon, Stanislaus County superintendent of schools

"I understand that California is going through a tough time. The state has to make some tough decisions, but cutting funding from higher education exacerbates the problem."

-- Andrew Janz, student body president and master's student at Stanislaus State

"Ten percent will cause us to drastically reduce our services to students, which is particularly difficult in a time when it's necessary to provide training for jobs to help bring the economy back. ... I understand

(Gov. Schwarzenegger's) dedicated to not raising taxes and the financial problem the state is facing, but he's taking the easy way out by cutting across the board rather than asking what will best serve the needs of the future of the state. There will be some compromising (on the final budget). The Legislature and the governor tend to have different perspectives."

-- Roe Darnell, chancellor of the Yosemite Community College District, which oversees Modesto Junior College and Columbia College

"Contrary to what some people may think, it is actually difficult to work your way into a prison sentence. Criminals who finally have been sentenced to state prison have earned it, usually after multiple convictions or inflicting serious harm on innocent victims. Exactly who will make the call that one prisoner is low risk and another is not? Just because the current commitment offense may appear to be 'low risk,' will they take into account the prisoner's prior convictions that finally resulted in a judge deciding that state prison was the appropriate place to send them?" -- Stanislaus County DistrictAttorney Birgit Fladager

"It's very concerning. Those folks will be out in our community on parole with limited supervision, and obviously we think that poses a public safety risk."

-- Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden

"I'm sorry, but these folks being released from state prison are not law-abiding citizens who are going to be productive. They sure don't need to be released back into Stanislaus County. The Sheriff's Department is going to rearrest offenders and we're not going to have any place to put them."

-- Stanislaus County SheriffAdam Christianson

"It's a disguised shift to counties. ... They're going to release these guys early and they're going to dump them into counties. Counties and cities are going to be scrambling to find resources: public safety resources, mental health resources and job training. All the things that the state was previously responsible for will fall on the shoulders of cities and counties."

-- Stanislaus County Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers

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