LOS ANGELES (KCBS) _ California educators got a bleak outlook on the state’s finances from Governor-elect Jerry Brown on Tuesday.

“I’ve been around long enough to remember a different era where things were a lot simpler,” said Brown. “I don’t know how the hell we get there but we are going to have to make a transition.”

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Though no specifics were given, Brown warned some 200 school officials at UCLA that the state’s financial crisis is worse than he thought.

KNX Reporter Ed Mertz:

Although ideas were put forth to spending more money, Brown said cuts are coming and he said he will lead by example by cutting up to 25 percent from his staff and budget.

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As for future spending, the Governor-elect said it will be based on priorities.

“We’re not poor. We’re one of the wealthiest places on the whole planet,” said Brown. “So the question is, how do we as a democratic society work it out, because that’s what politics is.”

California’s K-12 education budget has been slashed by $7 billion over the last three years.

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