California Leaders Say Their State Is the Future but 75% of Kids Are Not Proficient in Most Subjects

( – California is known for sunshine, beautiful scenery and high taxes. California spends about half of a million dollars per classroom in the state. You’d think that would lead to the most educated children in perhaps the world. Yet, the stats are in and it seems only about one in four are proficient in math, science or English.

One reason for the problem is California Assembly Bill 1505 which makes it extremely difficult to set up a charter school in the state. When compared to charter schools in other states California’s paltry numbers are even starker. States like Virginia spend far less per student that the Golden State but have much higher proficiency rates. Per 1505 establishing a charter school can be stopped in its tracks if it may pose any kind of negative financial impact to the government run school in its proposed district. The failing schools would lose students and finances to the more well-run charter school. 1505 also has language that would deny the charter school if its being established where a particularly terrible existing school exists and may face lesser enrollment.

AB 1505 is essentially a legal means to make sure the status quo remains unchanged. It forces students who may be able to excel in a different environment to remain within the structure demonstrating failure.

The majority of particularly bad schools are in low-income neighborhoods where private schooling and similar opportunities are not realistic options. California’s government is protecting the failing schools system to the detriment of both the students and the neighborhoods for primarily financial reasons.

Supporters of charter schools point out the competition serves all the students in the neighborhood as competition would likely force the failing existing school to raise their standards to keep students and thus lose less financing.

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