State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell warned yesterday that California's schools are facing their worst financial crisis ever. According to the Chron, O'Connell said that the state education budget faces a $10 billion deficit, countless teachers will be laid off, and vital services, such as libraries and nursing staff, will be slashed like never before. Hayward's school district was singled out as the poster child, where 170 out of 1,100 teachers will lose their jobs. Here's perhaps the most telling detail: O'Connell is going to end compliance visits to schools, to make sure that they're spending money in accordance with state mandates on gifted students and other specific causes. In essence, O'Connell is quietly telling schools that state mandates are suspended until the crisis ends, and they can spend their dwindling dollars any way they need to in order to survive.