I have been conducting an education survey by asking the average, taxpaying Californian; What percentage of the $100 billion state budget goes to public education? The answers are generally in the 5 percent to 15 percent range.
When I inform them that the answer is 58.4 percent ( 46 percent K-12 and 12.4 percent UC system) the first reaction is disbelief and a demand of proof. After I produce the proof ( easily found on the Internet) they are usually speechless. I typically wait a few moments for the truth to sink in, and then add the fact that the 58.4 billion dollars does not include any Federal education funds or any of the many school bond measures or all the local parcel taxes that get passed each year! This is when they usually say “What the hell are they doing with all that money?” Good question. We should all be asking the same question. Perhaps Loni Hancock, who headed the Western Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton Administration could tell us. Perhaps Charles Ramsey, a member of the West Contra Costa Unified School Board could tell us why he wants to modify Prop. 13 and make it easier to pass local parcel taxes. For all our Billions of dollars, our education system is at the bottom of the heap. What the hell are they doing with the money!