Friday, April 09, 2004

CA K-12 in trouble

Via the Gropinator, news we already know about here in Santa Monica:
    California's enormous K-12 public school system is mired in the worst funding crisis in its history, forcing districts throughout the state to impose cuts so deep that academic achievement likely will suffer.

    Practically every state faces daunting school funding challenges, but the situation is particularly severe in California, which has the nation's largest public school system, educating one of every eight students in the country.

    Educators point to a confluence of economic and political constraints at the federal and state level that have forced schools from tiny rural communities to the sprawling Los Angeles Unified School District to slash school programs, lay off staff and increase class size.

    These include a struggling state economy and state budget deficit, projected to be $14 billion next year; declining student enrollment in some places and explosive growth in others; spiraling health care and workers' compensation costs; and intractable state and federal spending mandates.