California’s superintendent of public instruction says that in order for Gov. Schwarzenegger’s de facto eighth-grade Algebra I requirement to work, the state will need to pony up $3.1 billion — “with a `b’” — dollars for smaller math classes, additional class time, more school counseling services, and expanded after school and summer programs.
State Superintendent Jack O’Connell said he was aware that he was making the spendy Algebra I Success Initiative proposal during state budget negotiations marked by deep deficits and planned cuts to education, health and social services. He also noted that the $3 billion proposal mostly included ongoing costs, rather than one-time expenses.
“If the governor is unable to come up with this (funding), then he should encourage the state board to reconsider this mandate,” O’Connell said during a teleconference this morning.
If you’ve followed the Algebra Wars, you might recall that the idea of requiring all eighth-grade students to be tested in Algebra I (rather than allowing some kids to take an easier standardized test with pre-algebra concepts) was Schwarzenegger’s idea.
O’Connell didn’t like it one bit — especially the fact that the governor swooped in at the last minute to push his Algebra-only agenda.
O’Connell still says he would have preferred a “broader” discussion about math and technology, rather than focusing so many resources on algebra alone. Maybe this is his best effort to get the mandate lifted. What do you think?
image from Bubblesthepiggy’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons