Statement: “California is currently ranked 46th in the nation on per pupil funding, and San Diego Unified is one of many districts across the state facing a spending shortfall for next year,” the school district wrote in an April 20 press release.
Determination: A stretch
Analysis: While grappling with deep budget cuts this year, San Diego Unified School District officials have repeatedly pointed to Sacramento as a cause of the problem. The district now plans to lay off roughly 1,700 employees next school year to balance the budget.
As part of its #StrongerSchools campaign – its attempt to frame the cuts as improvements to schools – the district’s Twitter account sent out messages in February highlighting per pupil funding in California, just as crowds were gathering to discuss more than $124 million in cuts for next school year.
#StrongerSchools: Our challenge is to keep scores & grad rates rising, even though CA spends far less per student than the national average.
— San Diego Unified (@sdschools) February 22, 2017
“California is currently ranked 46th in the nation on per pupil funding,” the district said in a press release last week about Superintendent Cindy Marten’s trip to Sacramento, and her efforts to advocate for more school funding.
A district spokeswoman said the stat came from EdWeek’s 2017 Quality Counts listing, which said California spent $8,694 per student annually, less than the national average and less than 44 other states, plus the District of Columbia.
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CA is still screwed up. The people who own California refuse to pay their fair share of the costs of our infrastructure. The very people who benefit from our society, who have grown wealthy from our systems of government, refuse to pay the bills. We need a split-roll property tax. Prop-13 was a mistake, a confidence game. it created a tax-loophole for the rich to buy up all the real-estate property and become a landed-class. End the tax loophole for investment and commercial real-estate. One house per person. http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Prop-13-loophole-gets-another-look-6369190.php
So California ranks very low in something called "per pupil funding', 46th a few years ago according to one of your sources. The allegation has frequently been made here, and elsewhere in the state, that available money is spent largely on raises for teachers due to the power of the teachers unions and the general friendliness of the governor and legislature to organized labor in general and particularly to school related unions.
Just for fun, I looked at one of the many surveys on the internet purporting to show average teacher salaries by state. On the one I consulted, California teachers ranked 4th highest, trailing only New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. So, out of 52 states, California ranks somewhere around 46th in spending per pupil but 4th highest in teacher salaries.
Seems there may be some correlation here. Perhaps you could query the SDUSD board on this one. I'm sure their response would be fascinating.
@Bill Bradshaw I'll save you the effort, "its for the children."
@Bill Bradshaw Part of it could be to the higher cost of living in San Diego. All of the states you list are pretty expensive to live in. So if you want teachers, you are going to have to pay them a salary that affords them to live in proximity to your city.
@Rick Smith @Bill Bradshaw Higher cost of living than where? Remember, I'm quoting state figures, not San Diego city or county. Let's see the data on teacher voluntary quits going to positions in other states. If it's high, perhaps the point made is valid, but I've heard it so much for so many positions, not only in education but elsewhere, that I'm a bit skeptical.
What we do know is this: Time after time the district gets additional money for various purposes and spends a lot of it on pay raises, then discovers a new "shortfall", after which they lay people off. Not the way to operate, in my humble opinion.
@Bill Bradshaw California teachers have one of the highest teacher to student ratios, living in many parts of CA is expensive. If you check teacher salaries adjusted for cost of living that 4th rank goes away fairly quick. If you check out this graph: http://kahlerfinancial.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Teacher-Salary-Chart.pdf you'll see CA is ranked 4th in actual salary but spending power is 32. Also, yes the amount of money has gone up quite a bit since 2014, but we are still about 1,000 per student under the national average. Perhaps one needs to look at the whole picture and compare all of the factors that go into those numbers. CA is still, and will continue to be, underfunding education .http://calbudgetcenter.org/resources/californias-spending-per-student-increased-due-proposition-30-still-trails-rest-us/. Thank you for your concern though regarding our education system in CA.