Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CA School Funding Adequacy Report says $23-32 billion per year more needed

I am home sick today from my teaching at SF State. Our faculty union - CA Faculty Association or CFA - is conducting our first ever strike vote this week. And I and others on our campus are sick and tired also of the CSU management's failure to bargain in good faith regarding a fair contract, their millions given for CEO perks, and their behind closed door decision-making.
We don't want to strike, but we may have to for the future our our university and because our working conditions are tied to our students' learning conditions. To help us please click here.

CA Study Concludes - at least $23-32 billion more needed for Public School Education
See also Duane Campbell's comments from his Monday blog.
The long awaited and very well-financed CA schools adequacy study is going to be released today and tomorrow in Sacramento. Juliet Williams from AP did a much better job than the SF Chronicle's Greg Lucas and Nanette Asimov in giving some of the dollar figures released yesterday. But it looks like the bottom line is that it will take at least $23-32 billion more per year to provide a high quality education to all our state's students, from the wealthiest to the poorest kids.
Getting Down to Facts includes 22 studies by more than 30 researchers from the nation’s leading universities and research institutions. It was formally requested by a bipartisan group of state leaders, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, Senate President pro Tem Don Perata, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Committee on Educational Excellence and former Education Secretary Alan Bersin. To view the full set of studies released today, visit

JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press, reports:
A major overhaul of California's schools will cost tens of billions of dollars more per year, but money alone won't fix the many problems facing the nation's
largest public education system, according to a series of landmark studies to be released today.
The cost figures come from panels of educators who estimated how much it would take to bring all California schools up to a score of 800 on the state's Academic Performance Index, the state's system of gauging student proficiency in reading and math.
Two estimates, both based on interviews with educators, estimate the cost of meeting the state's achievement goals at an additional $23 billion to $32 billion a year...
California already spends nearly half its annual budget on education, a total of $66 billion in the current fiscal year, or about $11,000 per student in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Still, one estimate in the documents obtained by the AP says California might need to spend as much as $1.5 trillion a year to meet its performance goals, an amount equal to about half the annual federal budget.
... Full article
The Progressive California Budget Project also meets in Sacramento tomorrow - I am interested in their analysis of the foundation-driven study. From his Choosing Democracy Blog Campbell concludes:
The legislature and governors have meddled and muddled, but they have not done their job. Their job is to decide upon a reasonable, fair tax system and to raise the money needed for schools. They have failed at this task for over 20 years while California’s public schools have been forced into a steep decline in quality. Rather than facing the inadequate funding issue , major school reform efforts stress standardized testing as the driving force behind schooling at the k-12 level, particularly in low income districts. There is always some new advocate who has a solution to failing schools; phonics, exit exams, etc. rather than to face the real issue of grossly inadequate funding. The testing mania has not improved schools, improved school funding, nor improved teaching.

No comments: