Sunday, December 14, 2008

How To Make Our Schools Better With More Money

California spends half of its entire budget on education, but still ranks near the bottom of all states in per-pupil spending--46th, according to CTA President David Sanchez as quoted in the November 2008 issue of California Educator magazine. SeƱor Sanchez also points out that our current budget is about $11.2 billion, and could rise to $27 billion over the next year and a half. So what's the story on p. 36 of California Educator called? CTA, Allies begin new fight for more funding.

Any guesses how they intend to accomplish this?

A key element of the campaign involves persuading state lawmakers that the solution to the state's widening budget deficit is raising new permanent revenues, not making additional cuts....

Got that? In one of the most taxed states in the union (e.g., state sales tax of 7.25% with county sales taxes in many counties), the solution to the state's budget difficulties is not to make cuts but to raise taxes. How's that working in Michigan, or even a city like Chicago?

I'm not saying that California's schools aren't underfunded--my class sizes boggle the minds of educators in other states. What I am saying, though, is that if there are budget difficulties, we can't expect half the state budget to be taken off the table a priori. California needs to develop some fiscal discipline--a lot of it.

And I'll just toss this out there, talk amongst yourselves: which party has run both houses of the California legislature for as long as I can remember?


allen (in Michigan) said...

Like I've been saying for a while, the emphasis is on the "public", i.e. political, rather then "education".

The message implicit in that ordering of priorities travels right down to the level of the classroom.

If you were looking for any single factor that's most destructive of the importance of education in the public education system you could stop right there.

Quincy said...

If anything, California's schools are overfunded. There is so much money out there to be had by rent seekers that the more the state pours in, the less makes it to teachers and students.

It's Gammon's Law at work.