California is looking at a school line item of $50B in their budget with about $14B in cuts for 2009/10, and IOU's to taxpayers who are entitled to a refund of overpayment of taxes for 2008. Times are tough for everyone and we need to move to some drastic measures that are SMART, sound and lead the way for a better tomorrow.
#1. Admit that all the money in the world won't fix the California educational system as is, and that REFORM is needed.
I propose that all pre-K and K-5 programs are terminated effective 2009/10 school year. Turn elementary school education back in to the hands of who? PARENTS and churches...(what a concept). Maintain your basic skills testing for 5th graders, but make that the entry exam for Public Subsidized education which is offered only to those students who pass. Consolidate Middle school curriculum with advanced aptitude and placement preparation with the focus on preparation for either:
- a 2 year general education program (9-10)
- a 5 year university preparation program (9-12+ AA or transfer to University)
- a 4 year specialty program (9-12 w/special skills actually needed in the workplace)
The specialty programs could/would include:
- Arts and Science (music, art, performing art, film, video, sound, graphics, and all the technology that those industries need skilled workers for)
- Science and Technology
- Business and Technology
Any of the specialty schools could easily lead to university or the workplace, but all would have practical applications.
Saving all of the money from PreK-5 schooling and transferring half to support the new public education system would be enough to keep the state solvent and I believe prove to be a better model for our future. Take all of that money spent doing what parents should be doing, and invest it only in the children who develop a desire to succeed. Those who fail in this program will have their parents support in finding alternatives to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.