Wednesday, August 22, 2007

K-12 funding and University funding in California

Peter Schrag in his column in the Sacramento Bee of Aug.22 makes the accurate point that the University of California is the finest university in the nation and that it has difficulty competing with the well funded private universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale for faculty. Note: each of these universities receives nearly 50% of their funding from federal sources. Are they really private?
However, what is not said is as important. While California ranks near the top in university quality, our public schools k-12 rank about 37th in per pupil expenditures and about 44th in 8th. Grade reading. The California legislature in their budget continues to underfund k-12 education. And, this year they took an extra $ 250 million from the Williams settlement.
So, we have a system which provides itself a first rate university level education, and a 37th or 44th. Rate k-12 level.
How would you characterize these priorities? Ask your Senator and Assemblyperson.
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