Written by Nathaniel Mannor
They say if you have a problem, throw money at it, and it goes away. That’s certainly the opposite case with California, specifically our education system. We spend 40% of our general fund on education thanks to Prop 98, amounting to $13,129 per student from the 2017-2018 school year. Yet the Golden State can’t deliver the gold standard of education because of pro-union legislators in Sacramento who push against school choice and merit-based pay/promotions for hard-working teachers.
And now the union sympathizers are pushing back. State Senator Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, introduced SB 830 that suspends the funding formula for schools based on daily attendance. Portantino and his followers believe the old system discriminates against districts with high absenteeism rates, specifically from lower-class areas.
But what they fail to understand is that by removing the formula, you are motivating low-income school districts, and by extension, teachers’ unions, to work less at fixing their attendance problems. This also hurts other school systems that won’t receive as much money filling the classrooms’ chairs.
Rather than reward academic institutions with truancy issues, California state legislators should focus on fixing this problem head-on by getting low-income kids back in school. Perhaps they could amend the only system that encourages schools to bring in more students and incentivizes students to return to class.
Brining in extracurricular activities is a great way to get students interested in school. However, that only works if instructors for these subjects can foster a sense of community with their classes so pupils will keep coming back. If done right, state authorities will fund these poorer schools without punishing high-income areas.