School funds may stymie reform

November 27, 2012

Gloria Romero

Approval by California voters of Proposition 30, the school finance measure, may have thrown a monkey-wrench into public education reform, some advocates of change are asserting. But teachers’ union representatives disagree. (San Jose Mercury News)

The $6 billion injection may be a precursor to a battle between outspoken advocates of major education reform, and the California Teachers Association (CTA).

Former state senator Gloria Romero, who with others has been lobbying for specific changes in the way public education is administered, believes the “bandage on the current system” may forestall any real effort at reform. She said recently that meaningful changes to raise student achievement, modify the rule of teacher seniority, scrap the existing school finance system, and ensure the teacher pension fund stays solvent, may be jeopardized by an atmosphere of complacency generated by the huge cash infusion into the system.

CTA president Dean Vogel said his group in not opposed to reform, “just stupid reform.”

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6 billion is a bandage. just how much money do we spend on education in this state?

All told, California spent about $9,375 on education per student in 2010, roughly 12 percent below the national average.

so last year 47 :-(

Actually, zaphod, those stats are misleading, as the link you gave did not fully understand the data presented to them by the National Center for Education Satistics. If you go to the link I have provided, you can see the various tables yourself (even download them in excel format and sort them). You will find CA is not 43rd nor 47th place, but is in fact “in the middle” of the bell curve.

Still, it does not change the fact that education spending has done nothing but increase significantly since 1985 (earliest year they have on their chart, figure 1 I believe) where spending per pupil was just over $6,000. However, performance overall has dropped. Then again, this is mixing a pretty big state: our best schools, I believe, still out-perform most other states’ best schools; we just have a lot of “baggage” that brings us down. There, I said it.

Would it be fair to say that the total education budget is about 65 billion for a single school year ? If so how can we as tax payers be expected to continue to support the unfunded liability of a teacher retirement system ?

There will never be “reform” in the public schools.

Privatize them. It’s the only way.

I think it’s time to bring back the school voucher idea. When I have a choice/voucher, the schools will have to compete to get my kid and corresponding voucher. When they have to compete, the good schools (public or private) will proliferate and the bad schools will go away.

Why put up with half measuers?

Only a truly free economic market will make you truly free.


Does anyone think that schools are still about education? If so, you must be new to it.

Schools, Colleges and Universities have always been about money. Money and power, like any large institution. It was corrupted long ago and will not improve. Never has.

If parents and grandparents are not actively teaching their children after they are done “playing” in public school, they will regret it, and soon.

Prop. 30 passed; it’s not business as usual in academia. Administrator now have a bigger pie to slice as they see fit. For them, business as usual means giving themselves raises, hiring more adminstrators, and firing as many full-time faculty as possible. The unions sit back and do nothing, as usual, of course.

Prop 30 did pass and anyone who voted for it and makes less than $250,000 is a hypocrite for doing so. Prop 38 failed because the same hypocrites that passed prop 30 wouldn’t vote to tax themselves.

10 % prop 30 projected revenue will come from the sales tax increase, the rest will be courtesy of the $250,000 folks who get to pay more income tax

Reform will never be allowed by the unions. They invested alot of money in this campaign (Prop 30), they are expecting paybacks, have no doubt about that!