Home » issue » Stop the education insanity

TOPIC: Education

Stop the education insanity

Your children deserve our best. Parents and families are the crucial link between the home we grow up in and the state where we live—and the first 20 years of a child’s life will be dominated by education.

In meeting and talking with thousands of parents, this issue is always at the top of their concerns. It governs where they work and live, and touches every other area of life.

So reforming California’s broken education system is critical. The state wastes billions of dollars each year—with no accountability.

These are just a few examples:

K–12 Schools

  • California spent $1.25 billion to improve performance at underperforming schools, but a review of 1,620 schools receiving an average of $771,604 each showed no increase in the state’s Academic Performance Index (API).
  • The state has spent $13 million in legal bills defending unsafe, unsanitary K–12 schools from lawsuits. It paid $4.25 million more to settle a lawsuit that accused the state of misspending federal education funds.

California State University System

  • A state audit showed the Cal State University (CSU) system went $200 million over-budget to install and upgrade software. An ex-CSU official was a consultant to the company that got the $662 million contract…and went 30% above it.
  • Another audit showed the system mismanaged its budget, with internal documents revealing wrongful co-mingling of state money with fund-raising. Internal documents show officials saying “the mess” had to be cleaned up—because an audit was coming.
  • Former administrators often get payouts and cushy jobs after retiring. One example: A former chancellor at Cal State L.A. was rehired to teach a class, one single class, and was paid $163,776.

University of California System

  • Sexual harassment and other employment lawsuits cost the University of California (UC) system $12 million over 3 years.
  • College administrators routinely rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars—even when they don’t work there anymore.
    • A new UC Berkeley president got $925,000, making him the highest paid state employee.
    • The new president at San Diego State got a $400,000 salary—$100,000 more than the former president was paid.
    • An ex-vice chancellor at UC Davis got $465,000 as a new “senior advisor,” but without any actual duties.

College administrators spend taxpayer money on lobbyists—$121,000 in one case at the UC level—to ensure they get even more money…all while slashing classes and raising fees.

Meanwhile, only 74.4% of high school students graduate in 4 years. Some 7% take 5 or more years—and 18.2% drop out entirely.

In fact, 3.5% of eighth-graders—17,257 students—left school and didn’t return to start the 9th grade.

My involvement with Palos Verdes schools showed so many mandates and micro-managing, that local districts and parents could do little, if anything. In adhering to these mandates, the Palos Verdes schools actually get less than they should from the state, by any reasonable measure.

So our kids don’t receive a quality education. Our families are harmed.

This must stop. We have to return responsibility for education back to communities and the parents. We need to support charter schools, innovative education models and greater competition.

Parents need to know we can do something about this. You need an advocate in Sacramento, for you and your family.

It’s time to dismantle the Sacramento bureaucracy sucking up your money, with few positive results and mismanagement galore.