The Governor’s revised budget for the State of California is out and it gives some insight into our legislative priorities. In a $91 billion dollar budget, $26 billion goes to Health and Human Services and $38.5 billion to K-12 Education. That’s 70% of the budget. Add in the $9.5 billion for Higher Education and 81% of the General Fund is gone. That leaves a measly $17 billion dollars for all other state expenditures.
Think about that for a moment. For less than half of what it costs to educate California’s children (poorly), the state successfully funds CalFire, the highway patrol, state police, state judges and courts, the legislature and legislative offices, the governor and his office, the Capitol and all state buildings, all state fairgrounds and parks, the prisons and corrections system, the transportation, roads, and motor vehicles departments, natural resources management, conservation and development, water resources, food and agriculture and a lot more.
When discussions turn to education, there’s an immediate cry about the lack of money and we all nod and wring our hands in concern. But while we engage in emo-fest, the Government is successfully addressing a broad range of priorities while our bloated, expensive, education system fails to do the one thing it was designed to do: Teach.
Never mind all that. California has the solution:
Exit question: In 2016, when our kids aren’t learning any more than they are now, aren’t any more prepared than they are now and the education system is over 35% more expensive than today, will the teachers union stop telling us how they need more money?