Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Our California school system is in crisis. Even with financial sources such as the California lottery and Mello Roos, California’s school system budget is far below the national average. With purposed cuts by the Trump Administration, our children’s future is face with uncertainty.
According to the State of California, our yearly school budget is $92.5 billion (4$9 billion for k-12) with another $4.09 billion coming from the federal government. This may sound like a large number, however with over 6,221,000 students it is only $8,000 per student per year. That’s far below the national average of $11,000 and less than half of the $17,000 that New York, Wyoming and Alaska spend. Even more incredible, densely populated areas such as San Francisco are only spending $6,000 per student while rural areas with very small populations spend up to $50,000 per student. According to The Morning Addition, school funding is not based on the amount of students but on the size of the county, city and district. Which means a school district with 50,000 students could receive the same funding as a district with 5,000 students.
The Trump Administration is proposing a $250 million dollar cut back to California school funding. According to Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King, “The proposed cuts would decimate programs that have successfully provided our students with a high-quality education. Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford professor and president of the Learning Policy Institute — a nonprofit group focused on teaching — noted that under No Child Left Behind, the state used these grants to reduce class sizes. According to Larry Gordon of EdSource, nearly 40% of California’s college students come from another state or country. In the same article, Larry Gordon states that this is caused by California students not meeting the education requirements for admission. This is a prime example of cause (lack of funding) and effect (inadequate education). Many of our congressmen have made logical appeals to local, state and federal governments to address these serious issues. Isn’t it time that the people of California make an emotional appeal?
California is the leader in so many areas… agriculture, technology, tourism and engineering. Why then are we at the bottom when it comes to education? We have some of the best colleges, however our k-12 is not able adequately prepare our children to attend or even qualify for secondary education. We need to concentrate on our children’s future now. There needs to be more funding, resources and teachers. Unless this happens, California will continue to fall behind and our children will suffer for it. We live in the greatest state in the country. How can we just throw away our greatest asset… our children?