In an excellent analysis over at EdSource, Robert Manwaring, a veteran California school policy wonk, asks a deceptively simple question: “If K-12 matters most, why doesn’t state budget reflect this?” Unfortunately, as newspaper folk put it, he buries the lede.
Having been guilty of the same crime here in the past, let me remedy that error for both of us:
California is 47th in school spending because cops, fire fighters, and prison guards have sucked up all the money.
California elected officials say that schools are their highest priority. So do the voters in polls. But that’s not how they act.
And until, as Joe Mathews nicely puts it, “you walk into a police station, and all the cops at the desks are 65,” all that political talk about schools being our highest priority is just hot air.