Monday, May 09, 2005

The Governor's Failed Education Policy

Failed education policy.
Daniel Weintraub’s commentaries [in the Sacramento Bee] on April 28 and May 1 illustrate a fundamental misconception abouot education that is shared by the governor.
The fiscal reality is that California ranks 44 in per-pupil spending, 46th in pupil teacher ratio, 32 in teacher salaries and 29th. in education spending as a percentage of personal income.
Since 1998 state revenues have grown by 31 percent, while education spending has increased by only 24 percent, and non-education spending by 44 percent.
For the governor and Weintraub to blame education and Proposition 98 for the budget deficit is clearly off the mark.
The teachers’ organizations showed their social conscience by negotiating a temporary $2 billion budget decrease to help other vital social programs. Instead of renegotiating with them this year, the governor shut his doors and proposes not to pay back the money while making deeper cuts in education, permanently altering Proposition 98, privatizing teacher retirement, instituting merit pay and delaying tenure review. And the governor and Weintraub wonder why the unions and the PTA are so upset.
Schwarzenegger hasn’t “failed to communicate” his educational policy. He has communicated a failed education policy.

Dean Murakami,
Sacramento President.
Los Rios College Federation of Teachers.
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