Posts tagged ‘achievement gap’

Education – Pay Now or Pay Later!

Late last week in our home state of California, thousands and thousands of students, teachers, faculty, administrators and frustrated citizens took to the streets all across the state to protest California’s massive proposed cuts to education.

Unfortunately I was unable to participate because I was going to a school board meeting in Burbank. I was going to lend support to an advocacy team that I help organize who was there to protest their own district’s proposed cuts. Both on the macro level and the micro, a lot of advocacy happened that day, but there is still much to be done between now and when budgets are finalized in June.

Check out this great video by CSU Fullerton students about the downtown LA protests.

Though I try, I can’t understand why education is not the obvious funding priority. Frederick Douglass put it best – “it’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Our economy, and many of us, are broken right now. Our decision makers have to make cuts somewhere, but by cutting education funding, they are ensuring that this mess will continue for decades to come as our population becomes less and less competitive in a global market.

In light of this, I know many people are targeting their frustrations at their local school boards and administrators. Yes, they have some decision making power, but the real responsibility for the future of education in California and any other state lies with our state government.

Right now California schools receive about $8500 in funds per pupil from the state. In the Governor’s proposed 2010-11 budget, per pupil spending would drop to about $7400. That’s over 10%. Assume that means quality will also drop by at least that much. California’s dropout rate is already at 24%.

**More info on the proposed state budget here**

Our public schools across the country are in crisis, and unlike our economy which may bounce back in a couple years, the students affected by these cuts will suffer the repercussions the rest of their lives.

What we need to do is make sure our state legislators know that if they want to keep their jobs, they need to minimize cuts to education and not use Prop 98 funds to close the deficit.   Find your state legislators here, then give them a call and let them know that.  Let them know that education is the foundation upon which we build our future and if they make these cuts, our house will fall.

March 10, 2010 at 2:39 am Leave a comment


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