March 3, 2012

Some schools are just Way More Special than others

Have you ever heard that life just isn’t fair?  It’s true.  You know what really isn’t fair?  School funding.

Some California schools get twice the funding — and more — of others

By Sharon Noguchi, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   02/26/2012 05:37:03 PM PST, Updated:   02/27/2012 03:09:47 AM PST

120302-merc-music

Thirty-six years after the California Supreme Court ordered the state to fix its unequal system of funding schools, a gaping disparity remains between haves and have-nots.

And it may not improve much any time soon.

A scathing report on California’s school finances not only repeats the indictment of an inequitable, insufficient and irrational funding scheme, but also details how California spends on average $620 less on a student living in a high-poverty area than one in an affluent neighborhood.

The report by the Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based education advocacy group, also attacks the complexity of California school financing. "The system is a haphazard collection of arcane and hard-to-navigate policies that manage to hide funding disparities from district leaders and policy makers, not to mention parents and the public," the report, released last week, reads. "The maze of programs and formulas makes it nearly impossible to understand whether dollars ever reach the schools and students for whom they are intended."

120302-cruel-divide-reportHere’s the report by Education Trust-West mentioned above.  Clearly this is a complex problem, which would probably require a 40,000 word essay on the topic to identify the problems and begin to propose some reforms and solutions to this mess. 

I could create lots of lovely charts, comparing and contrasting financing among different districts in the Real Bay Area (by going here to Ed-Data, and clicking Districts and then Compare Finances).  I could brood over these 40 pages of state and local per-student revenue by school district across the entire state. 

Then I could make a bunch of sarcastic comments so you couldn’t tell if I was in favor of replacing all public schooling with Google Search or wanted to buy every government school student a gold-plated Tesla Roadster to ensure they showed up on time.  (Plus I would make sure I got the statewide school parking lot contracts via no-bid.  And a Lamborghini.)

The heck with it.  We’ve been having some beautiful weather, so why doesn’t everyone merely gripe about school funding, Prop 13, basic aid vs. revenue limit, and “voluntary” donations in this thread while you all pretend I said something brilliant.

This is also an Open Thread for everyone who doesn’t give a foreclosed lien about school funding.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:37 am

17 Responses to “Some schools are just Way More Special than others”

  1. PKamp3 Says:

    Milpitas comes out looking pretty good, in terms of efficiency. Take that Palo Alto! (So brave.)

  2. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Pleasanton makes $5.5 million in cuts to its school budget.

  3. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Palo Alto per-student funding down by $788.

    You all enjoy the beautiful weather now.

  4. SEA Says:

    “details how California spends on average $620 less on a student living in a high-poverty area than one in an affluent neighborhood.”

    Think about how much tiny that $620 would be if kids were houses.

  5. madhaus Says:

    The SJMN piece didn’t even cover the distorting effects of “voluntary” donations to foundations, over and above the parcel taxes that only districts with highly educated residents can pass… due to the insane 2/3 requirement mandated by The Proposition Whose Number Must Not Be Named.

  6. Jb Says:

    You made me laugh – but if we don’t laugh, then we will pull our hair out because it’s just such a mess in this state. Having been a poll worker last spring – and having been one of the lucky ones that passed a 6 year parcel tax pass by about 200 votes – I still look at the combination of funding/testing/house prices and ask – WTF? Why, why do we live here?

  7. nomadic Says:

    Rentards in the news.

  8. Crissa Says:

    At least it isn’t the 2/3rds of registered voters they tried in Washington State. That was a hoot.

  9. steve Says:

    I was riding my bike in the area and stopped in for the first open house. average property in every way, except for location:

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/Palo-Alto/1030-Greenwood-Ave-94301/home/683158

    Beds: 4
    Baths: 3
    Sq. Ft.: 2,087
    $/Sq. Ft.: $1,126
    Lot Size: 7,231 Sq. Ft.

    Mar 02, 2012 Sold (MLS) (Sold) $2,350,000
    Jan 21, 2012 Listed (Active) $1,999,000

    sorry for feeding the troll

  10. S.Schultz Says:

    Habe kein geld mit der job gelossen?

    http://www.bridgestar.org/MyCareerCenter/PositionDetails.aspx?jobId=10821

  11. Sunny(vale) Kim Says:

    Palo Alto per-student funding down by $788.
    —-

    Don’t worry. All the Palo Alto CEO/CFO are going to take out their children from private schools and start sending them to Palo Alto public schools – just to help Palo Alto out. I heard Steve Jobs already enrolled his daughters in Palo Alto schools before his death. As the quality of education in Palo Alto schools are quite high, he had to enroll his 13 year old daughter to elementary (Walter Hays) and 17 year old daughter to middle school (Jordon) :(

  12. Sunny(vale) Jim Says:

    steve, that house is an exception. DQ news shows Palo Alto prices are flat. School funding is down, and there will be 30 students per class like Cupertino. People will be taking their kids out of Palo Alto schools. Wait 5 years and you’ll be able to get in on the cheap.

  13. Jason Says:

    Man, you are truly an asshole. Go get yourself a house and stop being bitter!

  14. SEA Says:

    Warning: RBA spirit at work!

  15. SEA Says:

    After winning $1M, which is not a lot of money net federal and state taxes, Amanda Clayton, 24, continued to qualify for food stamps.

    Part of her reasoning for accepting the assistance was that she had two houses to pay for, so she needed the money: “I feel that it’s OK because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay,” she said. “I have two houses.”

  16. SEA Says:

    The video his here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTjEwuuBRBE

  17. nomadic Says:

    #15, she didn’t qualify, which is why she got in trouble. They better make her pay it off at least. Clearly she was dumb enough to think it was okay.


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