Californias Education Crisis


Education is a necessity that holds the key to a successful future and brings better opportunities for future generations to come. What will occur when the "key to a successful future" continues to decline? If education is such an asset and important institution that serves not only the certain individual in his or her quest for upward mobility, but is equally critical to fulfill the nations and states agenda, why do we ignore and neglect it so? What will occur when the education system fails? The education system is already failing miserably; therefore, as citizen there is a need to unite, make a u-turn, and stop the education system from entirely collapsing.

In this paper, I will analyzes and examines the inner crisis, which is California's Education and a detailed explanation on the immense issues that Proposition 13 and Budget Cuts have on California's education system, leading it to a downward spiral. In addition, I will give a discussion on the details of how Proposition 13 and the Budget Cuts are related, how they both play their parts, and how they affect the education system dramatically. Proposition 13 is a property tax measure that ended up limiting funds to the majority of schools and providing less money to the schools that needed it the most. Few of the many devastating quantities of consequences (discussed in the paper) due to budget  cuts, are more crowded classrooms, diminished programs, poorer facilities, and an exacerbated amount of decreasing teachers. In conclusion, I will give an outline of solutions for California's Education Crisis. California not only needs to re-imagine its once ever so vibrant higher education system, but restore it back to greatness.


Education has become one of the major concerns in California. This is because education not only guarantees a future to a student but also a perfect chance of finding a decent job for a livelihood. Considering that, the majority of the population in California is from poor backgrounds, individuals can only afford public school education (Lynne 23). California has for a long time held out the opportunity for every child to attend a public school from kindergarten all through to graduate school without any payment. However, on the resent past there has been cutting in educational budget, which was realized upon enforcement in 2008-2009 and has hit the community colleges and schools. As a result of this, many of the citizens are more disturbed on this step taken by the governor of the government. Because of this, there has been school demonstration in several districts of California protesting against the governor. These demonstrations consist of teachers, parents, students, and school administrators shouting in anger against the governor.

The proposed budget cut is rooted from the governor's decision on the 10 across-the -board cuts to provide an avenue for the states social programs and a projected deficit of $16 billion in the budget. This has caused the education system to deprive the secondary education an amount of 4.8 billion and 1.3 billion, which is harvested by the governor from the higher education system. The reason for all this step taken by  the governor is to try to save him from the deficit when he declared a fiscal emergency which accounted  for the state project shortage of funds , which was actually 16 billion turning $14 .5 billion at the moment. Despite the budget situation is affecting California, most of the states are also facing the same problem of a combined budget short fall of approximately $39 billion for the same fiscal year, 2008-2009. This report was provided by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), which shows that it is double ling the number of states that reported the same crisis some year ago. This budget cut will also have a dramatic impact on the state's public university systems. Because of this, there will be a decrease in spending, increase student fee, and increased tuition accompanied with possible staff layouts. It is so traumatic in the state because California students were once able to attend school free of charge, but know their tuition has grown up by more than 100 percent within the past three to four years.

Another factor that has facilitated the rise in the education crisis is the implementation of proposition 13. This initiative has added an article to the California constitution. This has so far given a limitation in the property tax rates to not more than 1% of any full cash value. This has resulted to an increased in assessed value per year, which is capped at 2% in the consumer price index (Tipps, Lee 85). The implementation of this proposition 13 has caused a shift in support for schools from the local property taxes to the state general taxes. Although property taxes are still a part of school revenue amounts, it comes in varying amounts. When this article was enacted, the percentage allocated to cities, special districts, counties and school districts were set which can only be changed through legislation. In times of tight financial crisis, the legislature and the governor has always shifted a significant amount of property taxes to the education system to ease the strain on the state. However, on contrary to that, when the property tax revenue increases, most of the schools do not benefit because the general-purpose income is capped by revenue limits.

Before the enactment, of this proposition, California was a liberal showcase, but upon its enactment, there is a limitation in the ability of the local government to raise money to increase property taxes. This has so far depleted the public school system of funding as the property taxes cannot be raised or lowered as required. The restriction has made the state legislation create a California%u2010focused school finance system in which the collected property taxes from school districts are used to fund a district revenue limit. In 1990, the state economic boom ended, and California experienced wild escalations in its real market coupled with a recession rendering the state unable to support the public schools due to the cap on local taxation. This is because of cost of living rising up forcing the revenue collected from the property taxes to decrease relative to their cost. The effect of this inequality has forced the state, community schools to cut down there budget, and the qualities of education in every way to bit up the budget crisis. This shows the relationship between the proposition 13 and the budget cut. As a result, of enactment of the proposition, elimination of funding for arts education and supplies and conversion of an arts opportunity to other programs was done. Faced with extreme financial problems, the school programmers in the state made a decision of which program to be offered and not. Surprising enough subjects as math, science, language arts, and social science remained was considered and such subjects like music, visual arts, dance, and the theater was left out (Greene pg 134-155).

As per the crisis causing the budget cut in the education system, the state Superintendent Torlakson reported that at least 58 percent of the schools no more access to educational materials. 48 percent has no access to nursing and counseling services provided by the staff, class size has so far increased by 35 percent and nearly have of the schools have reduced employee payment. Furthermore, with all this increases and reductions there is a possibility of almost 174 district schools out of 1,077 who will be insolvent in the next coming four years if the current level funding proceeds. Much more these cuts have affected the district's schools covering low-income communities. And because of the dried up of the state funding, this schools have to depend on the local taxes which are even affected by proposition 13 and fundraising to maintain the school programs and class sizes.

A report given in the San Jose Mercury News, said that parents in most of the district schools have managed to raise an amount of money to keep the student-teacher ratio at 20-1 for the young students. Therefore, this is a big challenge to communities who have not cobbled together enough to pick up the states slack, which is the ratio of over 30-1. Beyond suffering all this, the schools serving low-income communities have a high proportion of inexperienced teachers as compared to those who are experienced. According to the laid statistics collected by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning (CFTL), many of the students in such schools do not perform well because of the inexperienced teachers. Also because of the bargaining agreements with the teachers union, they have agreed that the latest teacher hired will be the first to go home. Considering the budget crisis, it means that in addition to the suffering from, more cuts, poorer schools have faced the top turnover rates because their low-seniority teachers are fired out in create numbers. The impact of this crisis in poor communities was paramount last year where a half of the teachers in the middle schools in the Los Angeles area, was fired off which eventually resulted to a case order in the court.

Reports from California's Teaching Force 2010 on the key issues and trends, shows that the entire state faces a looming shortage of teachers. Moreover, because of this, there are an ever-worsening job conditions whereby fewer individuals have been seeking teaching credentials. Between the year 2001 and 2007, a decrease of at least 40 percent in the number of the enrollee to the teacher's preparatory program has been experienced. The rise in the number of students has made the California's capacity teach their children alarmingly diminish. The need to reduce the class size for students has also a bid problem. This is so because the task of rebuilding the teacher's certification program will take time as witnessed with the inadequate funds, which has been allocated to the professional development of teachers. Schools for Low- income earners will find it hard to fill the position with highly qualified teachers.

In the midst of the budget cuts to professional development programs, the teacher's evaluation will be the determinant of who to be fired. In an area such as Los Angeles, this evaluation of teachers have led to the a witch-hunt spearheaded in most of the media as the charter school advocate blames the low test scores on mythically ineffectual and overpaid teachers protected by tenure. The rising in the cost of living among the poor communities has led to poverty in the area. Because of this systematic poverty, they are much evidenced of a correlation between the low-income and underperforming amongst students in schools. As the majority of the support materials for teachers and students are cut off by the budget, and the class size enlarges, it is not a surprise that performance goals are not met in the education system. Education in California like any other fundamental social service is under a sacrifice at the expense of workers and students (Neil, Gabriel pg 13).

Solutions to this crisis

So far, many of the citizen's points to the California divided government, inequality and the supermajority law as a cause to the education crisis in the state. These two factors require the legislation to adopt a budget with a two-third vote as reasons to the cause of the ongoing budget crisis. Tough this educational crisis is so much advancing there is a need for the state to declare solutions to the problem. This is because so many people are much affected considering the rise in the cost of living. Some of the solution to this crisis is to repeal proposition 13 or have the proposition be revised which is one of the supermajority law. This is if the state wants to solve the budget problem for a long term without gutting out states and destroying the education system and without laying off individuals who fight out constant and out of control wildfire. There is a need to give back primary sources of income to the localities. The citizens should be willing to do away with the concept of money, to allow the state have money to pay for the services it provides to its citizens.

Inequality in California is so much outspoken in that the wealth under the possession of the richest Californian, Lawrence Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, which is estimated to be about $27 billion, can be used to eliminate the deficit in the budget and stop the budget cuts. Fund slashing and privatization will serve as a maintainer to the rotten education foundation and funneling of massive wealth from the bottom to the top.

Another possible solution is to mobile the entire working class internationally to have a struggle towards good and affordable education system. Realizing that education cannot be defended alone within the campus, and in the end it affects the market in terms of employment, it will eventually be an issue that faces the working class throughout the world. During the process of mobilizing the entire working class, a break will be created with all those middle class organizations who claim to oppose the effect of the budget cut on the education system.

A program for socialist to defend education can also be formulated as a solution to this crisis. This is concerning the nationalization of the banks and leading corporations. Education being a social right, which is necessary for the modern society just like any other necessity, this right, runs to the private ownership of substantial banks that have a conflict with the corporations hence exercising dictatorship over economic and political life. Since the American's wealthy, elite takes public education as a drain profit, to free this and condemn all this, the banks and large big corporations must be transformed into publicly owned and democratically controlled entities in which every citizen can be accessed to it. To realize this kind of a program there is a need to fight for a new society. A society, which is based on social-need satisfaction and not private profit.

A vital and long-lasting solution can also be acquired through having a new political program with a new perspective. This is so to help in eradicating social inequality within the nation. A socialist equality party is on the move in leading the fight against budget cuts and the defense of the social rights of students and even workers. This movement has gone further to mobilize all the workers and students to take part in this discussion on how to defense their own rights.

So far, the trade unions and Governor Jerry Brown with the support he received from the state legislation has approved a budget that further cuts an amount of $8 billion from the vital social programs in the nation. Surprising enough there is another cut under the plan in addressing the remainder of the state's multibillion-dollar shortfall. Actually, the governor is threatening to cut billions of money from the k-12 education in condition that there is no regressive taxes are extended. In time, the richest Californian is performing well that ever before as compared with other counter parts in the world. To break these happenings there is a need to have a break with trade unions and a construction of the independent organization of working class struggle. This will be based on the need to build an independent political movement. This movement will comprise the working class who are in opposition to the democratic and republican parties and the capitalist system they defend. A need to declare the crisis as a state of emergency can be undertaken. The objective of this declaration is to get the governor Jerry Brown to release taxes to keep the education system budget stable. It will also bring the government on stage to realize the importance of education to the whole nation.


In conclusion as a state, California has to plan for long-term solutions to the entire budget crisis, which is not only affecting the education system but also all the social programs like health care. There is also the importance of the state to recognize that education is a necessity that holds the key to a successful future. It also brings better opportunities for future generations to come hence an increase in the nation's economic growth.