side bar
Thursday, September 28, 2023


Staff Editorial: California politicians need to recalculate decision

It’s no secret that education isn’t free. It isn’t even cheap in most cases. Any sort of financial aid, for either students or educational institutions, is not only nice to have, but necessary to maintain the tools needed for learning.

It is sad then to learn California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to remove funds from the state’s schools in an attempt to narrow its budget gap.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Schwarzenegger said he will support a tax hike and deep cuts to schools. Educators are to expect cuts ranging from $2 billion to $4 billion.

"There is just no way we would be able to cut that much," Scott Plotkin, executive director of the California School Boards Association, said in the article. "For virtually every district I know of, this would be catastrophic."

A look at some of the state’s schools and the financial difficulties they help students overcome demonstrates how disastrous the cuts could be.

According to the U.S. Department of Education website (, "Every one of the 700 students at John F. Kennedy Middle School, 10 miles from the Mexican border, receives free or discounted lunches because of their families’ low incomes."

Also mentioned is Monroe Elementary School, which receives financial aid based on its high percentage of low-income students. With this help, Monroe earned the state’s Title I Academic Achievement Award for its rankings on the statewide Academic Performance Index-improving at twice the expected rate.

Furthermore, a study by the Institute for Research on Education Policy ‘ Practice shows it costs California an average of $8,268 per pupil to reach an Academic Performance Index score of 800, the performance target for state schools.

The estimated cost for all districts was $45.1 billion, nearly $2 billion more than the cost for districts to maintain their API scores. Cutting up to $4 billion could then easily cause some schools to continually fall short of their goal.

Our country’s economic worries are no secret to anyone, and raising taxes in general could hurt citizens even more, especially in California where the cost of living is already high. However, taking money away from educators is not the solution to fixing a debt.

California needs to find an alternative source to draw the funds it needs, possibly by taking funds from a less deserving organization. Give educators the tools they need to exceed the standards and allow schools like Kennedy and Monroe to continue to help students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    What about UH will you miss the least this summer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...