There's little chance the Hesperia Unified School District won't see more cuts when the state's budget crisis is addressed, according to Hesperia's assemblyman.


"There's probably no legitimate solution to the budget crisis that does not involve education cuts," said Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Claremont, on Thursday. "Education spending takes up 40 percent of the state budget."


The state of California is facing an estimated $28 billion deficit by June 2010, spurred in part by propositions that lock the state into certain spending levels and mandate automatic changes in funding levels.


"If we did nothing this year on the budget, education spending would decrease ... up to $6 billion," Adams said, due to Prop. 98, which automatically increases education spending when things are going well, but also ratchets it back during leaner years.


The recession's effects can be heard (or, rather, not heard) in the silence of formerly busy Hesperia construction yards: New housing starts in the city have ground to a halt. But the state's budget crisis is particularly felt at the HUSD, the city's largest employer and the Victor Valley's largest school district.


That's because 73 percent of the school district's revenue comes from the state of California, in the form of Average Daily Attendance payments based on the number of students attending school. ADA payments have already been scaled back, and are likely to be further cut. HUSD Superintendent Mark McKinney is currently developing a list of cuts for the school board to vote on, to the tune of $2 million for the 2008-2009 school year already underway, an additional $1.5 million for the 2009-2010 school year and an additional $2.5 million in cuts for the 2010-2011 school year.


And that, in turn, means almost certain teacher and staff layoffs: More than 80 percent of the $160 million HUSD budget is salary and benefits.


"Every area is on the table for cuts," Adams said. "There's no area that can afford to not be on the table for cuts."


The state budget is already later than it's ever been: the state constitution requires the legislature pass a balanced budget by June 15.


"It could be literally months" before the budget is passed, Adams said. "It's distinctly possible the state will go insolvent. ... In late February or March, the state will run out of money."


And that means State Controller John Chiang will start deciding what bills not to pay.


"I talk to a lot of veterans to the capital community, people who have been there 30 years, and everyone says the same thing: No one has ever seen it this bad before," Adams said.


Despite the grim times in Sacramento -- "No one is going to be a winner after this fiscal year." -- the assemblyman said he's doing exactly what the voters sent him to the state capital to do.


"My constituents want me to control spending and make government accountable," he said. "We've been saying, forever, that we can't keep spending like this. ... This is exactly what we've predicted. Now my job is to stand up firm and stand for what my constituents believe in."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.