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No new Calif. textbooks until 2016

Aug. 8, 2009 at 12:49 PM

SACRAMENTO, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Budget cuts will force the California Board of Education to delay buying new textbooks until January 2016 at the earliest, officials say.

A state budget that closed a $24 billion deficit last month dramatically reduced state spending for kindergarten through eighth-grade textbooks, and a result most school districts are also putting off buying new high school textbooks, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

California has also moved to allow funds that were supposed to be solely for textbooks to be diverted to other uses -- an amount that totals $334 million this year. The Times said administrators contend that flexibility is essential for dealing effectively with the budget crisis, but at least one state official disagrees.

"We need modern, state-of-the-art textbooks, not outdated, antiquated textbooks," Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell told the newspaper. "It could be close to a generation before we see new textbooks."

"There is no really good decision," added California Teachers Association President David Sanchez.

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