Friday, February 29, 2008

And then OC schools started to deteriorate

Call me crazy, but our illustrious Governator, Herr Arnold Schwarzeneggar, will be hard pressed to improve California's already abyssmal state elementary education ranking from 46th in the nation by laying off more teachers around the state. But that's exactly what must take place. And Orange County California is not immune as Fermin Leal, Eric Carpenter and Scott Martindale of the Orange County Register report today. The California State Budget is broken. Now elected officials wish to break state education to put the budget back in the black.
As many as 1,590 teachers in Orange County might get the axe.

Classroom sizes will now increase, student-to-teacher ratios will be higher than ever before, and "non-essential" programs like art and physical education may even be cut. Some schools are even trying to axed the school nurse.

What does the Orange County Superintendent of Education, Mr. William Habermehl, have to say about these new budgeting measures?:

"These could be the most devastating cuts our schools have ever seen," "I don't know how some of our school districts will be able to survive this and provide the same quality of education."

Districts in facing the most layoffs and cuts:

Santa Ana Unified

Anaheim City


Saddleback Valley Unified

Saddleback Valley Unified?

Why that's Lake Forest, California's main school district!

What effect will these developments have on the housing market in Lake Forest, CA? Look, I don't know how many times I've heard from or read homesellers and realtors pumping up the value of OC schools. And they've been right to do so. Most OC school districts are just superior to the rest in the state. But given the budget cuts and layoffs planned in 2008, California's and OC's education ranking is facing almost certain decline. The only question is whether California might still manage to finish ahead of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi?

So declining quality of OC school districts might undermine the sales pitch of area realtors or homesellers when trying to justify the already ludicrous $550,000 plus single family home prices.

"The weather is 75 degrees and sunny almost every day, you're close to the mountains, the ocean and there's so much to do. Plus, the area schools are outstand.........Oh! Wait a minute. Back up. Scratch that bit about the local schools......"

The other interesting factor to watch in the coming years may be a decline in property tax revenues retrieved by the county. High foreclosures, combined with home prices not priced to market fundamentals, plus declining home sales, may equal fewer payers of property tax, which may equal Orange County Treasury trying hard not to look like Vallejo, California.

The facade is starting to crumble away, Orange County.

Now as far as OC jobs, let's hope few people are either in the mortgage industry or in the education market......

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