So I often hear that current ed reform, especially via vouchers and charters, is "killing public education". Perhaps. But that is not quite my point here, and yet maybe it is. I was reading and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/no-child-left-behind-waiv_n_1087134.html?ref=educationthought, this plus California's new TK http://www.examiner.com/family-in-los-angeles/california-to-add-new-elementary-school-grade, and the whole diversity thing, adding homosexuals and other monorities to curriculum, and thought to myself...where the heck will California get money for all these reforms? We are anticipating a $2 billion cut in education, and we're 43rd in per pupil spending and dropping. We supposedly need to hire 100,000 teachers in the next decade. Add the billion dollars for the NCLB waivers mentioned in Huffington Post and... numbers are spinning in my mind and I can't even fathom the cost. How will California afford all this? With unemployment in some areas still rivaling Detroit for number one, foreclosures rampant, poverty in some area at "ultra poverty" (approx. income $11,000 year for a family of four) at 40%, highest business taxes and quite high income/property/sales tax and... California is hell-bound for desctruction.
So why is California issuing expensive education mandates when it can't even afford what it has now? Might the rumor of public education "dying" be indeed kind of true?
If so, what happens next? Education is compulsory, a right, so our children will have to be educated somehow. A broke state cannot afford vouchers for every child, so that only covers some students. Charters can be corporate run but receive state funding, so if the state can't fund education, few children will be educated via charters, especially with the charter cap in place. Some students can be home-schooled, or attend independent study or an online school, but legally a parent must be present while the child is not attending a school house- a child can't be left home unattended all day, "going to school at home" while all legal guardians are at work.
I'm not sure what will happen in California, but it scares me. As I've said before, parents, educators, community members need to do everything to help educate students both in and out of the classroom, because the CDE (Ca. Dept of Education)will likely not be able to afford to educate our children properly.