Thank you for your recent article regarding the need for additional funding for schools. However, the article’s ending left doubt as to the actual need. The fact is that school funding for the current year is 95 percent of the of the funding received in 2007-08. The goal is to reach 100 percent of that benchmark by next year.
The California School Boards Association recently released its study regarding why the 2007-2008 criteria is woefully inadequate. Following are a few observations from this study:
▪ In a state that ranks 10th nationally in per capita income and 24th in state and local government spending, California’s national rank of 44th in K-12 education spending reflects a failure to prioritize public education. One consequence of this failure is low staffing levels.
▪ California schools rank 49th nationally in pupils per teacher as well as in overall staffing levels.
▪ “The failure to commit adequate resources, when combined with the needs of California’s student population, has created an achievement gap that, without additional resources, is unlikely to be closed.”
▪ Finally, California has the highest poverty rate and percentage of English learners in the nation.
Barbara Thomas, trustee, District 3, Fresno County Board of Education