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Nation Needs Commission to Find Solution to Deteriorating Education System (Op-Ed)
The direction in which California and 27 other states are headed with regard to education is a dangerous and deeply disappointing one. While I recognize the dilemma facing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in light of the economic woes stemming from Bush-era policymaking, which forces tough choices in trimming budgets, education must be off-limits. Schwarzenegger’s proposed education spending cuts, in the billions of dollars, will adversely impact our state’s schools, particularly those most vulnerable. These cuts will significantly set back our capacity to provide an equitable education for all children and will position California for further economic hardship in the long term.
The governor’s proposal to slash education funding by roughly $7 billion from administrative funds will undermine our state’s already-struggling and cash-strapped schools. In California, while all schools may, in theory, be created equal, not all schools are treated equally. California ranks the highest in the country in per-pupil spending disparity; one school district spends more than four times what the lowest district spends. A universal statewide funding cut, therefore, will result in disproportionate and adverse effects among low-income communities and high-needs students.