After repeated attacks by the CTA and the Education Coalition, Governor Schwarzenegger is finally hitting back. And the facts are clearly on his side.
But that has not stopped the education bureaucrats from distorting the truth. Just this week groups like the NAACP filled the halls of the state capital armed with the CTA talking points. And even sadder was the fact that they were given specific instructions to “Only to discuss fully funding Prop 98”.
I had a chance to meet with a few of these representatives and took the time to dispel a few myths.
Myth: The Governor is cutting funding to schools
Fact: Schools are receiving more money this year than ever before. At $53 billion dollars they are receiving $0.44 of every dollar the state takes in. Prior to the May Revise, they were getting a $3 billion increase in funding when tax receipts only grew by $5 billion. That means that they got 60% of all new monies.
Myth: The Governor borrowed money from schools last year and needs to pay it back
Fact: The Governor agreed to increase spending on schools at a certain rate, depending on a certain level of growth in tax revenue. That revenue grew more than anyone expected, so the education bureaucrats and union bosses want more. (Click Here For More Info)
Myth: Teachers in California are underpaid and over worked.
Fact: California teachers are the highest paid teachers in the country at an average salary of $56,283. And the larger the school district, the more they make. The starting salary for a California teacher ranges between an average of $34,488 for an elementary school teacher in a small district and $37,434 in a large high school district. And this is for nine months work.
Myth: Public schools need more money to succeed.
Fact: The problem with public schools funding is not that they need more money. They need to change how they spend the money they get. In California, it seems that the school districts with the highest ADA and Title I funding are amongst the worst performing. This is not a new phenomenon. The plethora of state mandated programs, federal mandated programs, categorical programs restrict local schools ability to put resources where they are most needed. Additionally, the time has come for public school districts to open the books to the public, so that we can see how our money is being spent; that it is getting into the classroom and not multimillion dollar administration buildings.
I don’t know if this information made any difference, but it is important that we share the truth all the same. Because the education bureaucrats and union bosses will keep distorting the truth until they get what the want.
Dr. William James, the Father of Modern Psychology once said “No matter how absurd, if you repeat something often enough people will believe it.”