Our Contra Costa Times readers’ forum question this week was: “Do you think California is adequately funding education?”
Unfortunately we were only able to fit six responses into our print edition, which were from West Contra Costa County and Dublin. Here are a few more responses from Central, East and West Contra Costa County readers, which I’m posting below, in case blog readers would like to add to the dialogue:
“Invest in future
California is not adequately funding education. Education is the engine of innovation, opportunity, and raising the tide for all boats. Growing the economy, maintaining public health, reducing crime, and pursuing the American dream all require increased investment in public education.
The motto of the University of California is: ‘Let there be light.’ I was fortunate to be a UC undergraduate at a time when I and everyone I knew there believed that it represented the pursuit of excellence.
I also believe that it is in the interest of all of us for the best and the brightest to go into teaching. No aspiration is worthier than excellence in education, and no segment of society is more important than educators. So educators should be among the most highly paid.
The University of California was a major factor in making California one of the biggest economies in the world. Investing much more in all levels of education in California is the best way to grow our way out of our current economic doldrums. Let’s do it!
President Jimmy Carter did not mince his words in 1980 by asking Americans to live with their means and lost the election to Ronald Reagan.
Reagan went on a massive military spending spree, and we have not recovered from that mindset 30 years later.
Why, when the entire nation is suffering from cutbacks in services and education, are we still spending such enormous treasures on defense and senseless wars?
Our country is bleeding from the wounds of war and military spending — $7 trillion in the last 10 years alone! We can’t afford this anymore.
The Joint Strike Fighter is an example of military spending gone wild. Each plane costs $144 million (maintenance aside) and we’re planning to acquire 2,500 of these.
I say reduce the number of these preposterously expensive war machines by half and fund colleges in the U.S. to the tune of $170 billion over the next 10 years. Now that would be money well spent.
Get rid of babble
California’s funding of education would probably be adequate if we could rid the system of sociological psychobabble indoctrination.
Public education should be based on an objective curriculum using teachers who do not use their position of power as a conduit for their social; agendas.
The nonacademic values that should be taught are responsibility, accountability, patriotism, self-reliance and honest economics, not the crony capitalism that politicians love.
Having spent nine years in California’s public school system and now attending a private high school, I can see the difference that lack of funding creates.
Nine years ago, before California was in a debt crisis and when I was in kindergarten, the public schools in California (specifically my hometown, Brentwood) were absolutely outstanding.
I was able to take advantage of art, music, and computer programs, which were available at my elementary school on a weekly basis and were each taught by a different instructor for all six years that I attended.
Now there is no art or computer teacher and these programs are in the hands of the classroom teacher. While the music program remains intact, it is available only to fourth and fifth graders.
Evidently, there is a substantial difference between public elementary schools now compared to when I was an elementary school student.
Still with these cutbacks, I have had the privilege of being taught by many wonderful people in the past nine years. Though teachers have been subjected to many pay cuts, they have provided quality education to California’s students.
When I went into teaching as a second career, I knew what the real work hours were; my ex-wife was a teacher during the 14 years we were married.
Between 2005 and today, my average class size has increased over 45 percent. While my paid work hours and salary have not changed much, my unpaid hours have dramatically increased. All of this is due to the underfunding of education.
This is not an increase in efficiency, but rather a large decrease in actual education. With larger class sizes, I have less time to individually help students who need it. Classroom management time has increased, and education time has decreased in each period.
Some students might not act up with 27 students in the class but will with 40. We need to reduce class sizes with more teachers.
We, as a society, cannot afford to not spend more on students. Employment in California is dependent on an adequately educated workforce.
Outside of districts such as San Ramon and Acalanes, which can get more funding from parents, public education is generally not creating the next generation workforce. This will cost all of us in the future far more than any tax increase.
No. We have less per pupil spending then the majority of states. Public education is not a form of welfare, as some think.
Privatization is not the answer. Fully funded and supported public institutions create a sense of common purpose and hope for all economic brackets.
Tax rates should be returned to previous levels to pay for social stability. We should live up to our Christian nation hype and be our ‘brothers’ keeper.’
Do you think the state funds education adequately?