Tuesday, July 6, 2010

California is a Deadbeat Parent to School Kids

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."

- Benjamin Franklin

Class sizes in California will inevitably go up. When that happens we can jump up and down and proclaim that we are #1. We will be the #1 worst state in the nation for teacher to student ratio.

California has cut $17 billion dollars from education. $550 million of it was from the state’s class size reduction program. I remember when this program was initiated. The idea behind the program approximately 13 years ago was to provide districts with a financial incentive to bring K-3 classrooms down to a maximum of 20 students per teacher. The incentive was needed to counter the cost savings of larger class sizes.

That financial incentive is now essentially gone. Districts are reeling from waves after waves of state cuts they must absorb and pass on to their employees at the expense of our children’s education. Class sizes are going to go up.

The Adelanto Elementary School District, along with other districts in the state, requested a waiver of the California Education Code 41376 relating to class size penalties for grades 4th through 8th. This legislation set the district wide class size average for those grades to be no more than 30 when calculating the district’s apportionment from the state. Except for districts with class size averages above 30 when this was set in 1964, districts are penalized for averaging more than 30 students in a class grades 4th through 8th. This waiver will relax that requirement. Class sizes are going to go up.

What can be done about it? A broad coalition, including the California School Boards Association, California PTA, and the Association of California School Administrators, is suing California (Robles-Wong v. California) to fulfill its obligation to support public education. The lawsuit is essentially treating the state as a deadbeat parent unwilling to pay for child support. One school district, Cupertino School District, recently passed a resolution in support of this lawsuit. Perhaps more can show support.

Robles-Wong v. California - http://www.fixschoolfinance.org/Default.aspx

Cupertino School District Backing Lawsuit Against State -


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