08/11/2020

Study provides new ammo for K-12 schools battle

The researchers conclude that “while public schools in California spent about $69.7 billion on school operations in 2016-17, an additional $22.1 billion—32 percent above actual spending—would have been necessary for all students to have had the opportunity to meet the goals set by the state Board of Education. On a per-pupil basis, the adequate district-level cost was estimated to average about $16,800 per student—the amount of money viewed as needed to allow students in a typical California school to meet the state’s goals if it were spent effectively. In contrast, the comparably defined actual California district-level spending was only $12,750 per student.”

Thus, the report presents a political challenge just as California is about to elect a new governor and a new state superintendent of schools.

A 32 percent increase is just about what both candidates for superintendent, Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond, advocate, even though they represent opposing sides of the equity war.

However, the additional $22.1 billion cited in the report would require the biggest tax increase in California history, three to four times as much as the income-tax hike on the richest taxpayers that Brown persuaded voters to pass in 2012 on promises that it would help the schools.

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