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