The current California state propositions deal with educational reforms and additional funding provided for public education. The proposed plan implies additional spending on public education and support of local district schools. The funds will come from the Budget Stabilization Fund. It is supposed that “these payments would replace any payments that the state would otherwise be required to make under current law for maintenance factor obligations created in 2007–08 and 2008–09” (Education Funding Payment Plan, 2009). Within these limits, the attitudes of educational leaders in the state, heirs to different political and educational histories, suggest powerfully that at least in the government sponsored public education in much the same terms as other public institutions are financed.
The proposed reform is crucial for the state and the education system in general as it will help to improve educational facilities and the level of public education in California. The importance of the reform is that: ‘California schools have been hit very hard by the state budget crisis. Education spending has been cut by over $12 billion” (Education Funding Payment Plan, 2009). The main problem is that the state authorities took public schools so much for granted that they were not even aware that public education problems and created a logical inconsistency in their thinking, which in all other aspects tended to be uncompromisingly opposed to active government. Equally clearly, the state authorities conceived of education as a powerful social engine which would facilitate personal competition and encourage individual achievements of students. Although such liberal policies might have dictated leaving practical education to individual initiative it is expected that the reform will embrace it for the advantages it could bestow.
The reform is important for the state as cuts and inadequate financial support of the district school has resulted in increased class size, out-of-date textbooks and lack of teaching staff. “Important student programs like vocational education, art and music have been eliminated in many schools” (Education Funding Payment Plan, 2009). It is almost redundant to point out that in doing so the reforms also conceived of education as a major instrument of democratic rather than state values. Clearly the state leaders repudiated any thought of an hierarchical education such as had seemed suitable to sponsors of the diffusion of knowledge; they interested themselves in the district schools and left higher education to its own devices. In addition, the proposed financial support of the district schools asserted the authority of the people in place of the authority of the few, not only in state institutions but also in education itself. The district school and the local school administrations were intended to maintain popular authority in the one area of society life that was important to every liberal political figure. Finally, the California state sponsored many of the same political and economic reforms as the workingmen, almost all of which tended to limit the scope of government and thus to extend the responsibilities of education. If in their eyes education was sometimes a residual rather than a primary function of state support, it was also the one function that gained significance during their onslaughts on privilege (Hess, p. 43).
In spite of apparent opportunities of the proposed reform, it will increase financial burden on the state budget. The state will have to reduce support of some other institutions and public spheres, reduce social support of low income and poor families. Political leaders often pressed energetically for the reorganization of existing district school systems because they recognized that unless education were made universally effective it could not serve the political and social purposes they assigned to it. Educational innovation was completely compatible with a traditional republican attitude toward public schooling Hence the political figures who were most likely to approach popular education from a state-sponsored point of view were not political leaders who wished to encourage the distribution of knowledge among the people but more philosophical education ideology who were concerned with the nature of man.
If reforms and additional financial support are not introduced, the California state will suffer from low skilled workforce and will face with low literacy levels among students. “For future economic recovery and stability, California businesses need a well-educated workforce. California schools and community colleges must have adequate funding to educate our children to be vital members of this state’s workforce” (Education Funding Payment Plan 2009). In short order parents and worried citizens forced onto the public agenda their concern for reestablishing an obligation to excellence in modern education. Joined rapidly by responsive politicians at the local and state levels, nearly forty states, in a span of about three years, passed minimum competency tests to ensure that high school graduates of public schools could, at least, do the arithmetic needed to balance a checkbook and fill out applications (Hess, p. 43).
This latest disagreement about the purposes of education is being carried to the public sphere by valiant forces courageously arguing for an idea that had seemingly been subdued for generations, an evident cost of having created the largest, most accessible system of education in the state. The small but growing number of citizens who champion excellence in education had apparently turned the ideas on much that the state impulse for equalitarian education had achieved. Federal and state authorities, ever ready to answer the educational demands of students and the self-serving proclamations of professional staff, had cut away the ground for basic education courses while heaping irrelevant curricular requirements on the schools. “Prop. 1B is only a part of the solution, but it’s a step we need if we are going to provide a quality public education to all students and keep public education a top priority in California” (Education Funding Payment Plan, 2009).
In sum, the proposed plan is a crucial need for a district educations system as it will help to improve quality of education and educational facilities. Economic and political reforms before they demanded education, and while their willingness to adopt reforms that strict economic leaders of the state demanded was uneven and irregular, in the final analysis their policies resolved themselves into free enterprise and public schooling. In the state, education reforms mean government support and more financial support of education. Because they bespoke reform in language untrammeled by compromise, state authorities helped to impose a radical orientation on the party even as a political organization. The public should understand the impact the party made on Calufornia thought without also examining the doctrines put forward by these ideologues, who constantly pressed their party to assume extreme positions on contemporary public issues. And lastly, the publishing world, together with the mass media, justified “dumbed down” textbooks and other barbarities of lapsed taste by using so-called balanced panels of professional educators to assure themselves of meeting market acceptability. Discovering an poorly financed educational system of this size in the middle of social huge and expensive system of education caused the report’s developers to be predictably alarmed. The reproach to the quality of current education could not be more precise and effective as the proposed financial support on the state level.
Education Funding Payment Plan. California State. 2009.
Hess, F. Common Sense School Reform. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.