K-12 Funding in California
California was once a national leader in public education - consistently ranking in the top 10 nationally in education funding in the 1960s and 1970s. The promise of quality public education made California an economic powerhouse and the envy of the country.
However, in the last four decades California's schools have sunk to the bottom in education funding.
The Impact of Budget Cuts on California Schools
Decades of devastating cuts to public education have had a profound impact on California's schools, teachers, and students.
- California schools are ranked 44th nationwide in per-pupil funding.
- California schools have the most overcrowded classrooms in the nation.
- California schools are suffering from chronic teacher shortages. California has 1 million more students than Texas, but 42,000 fewer teachers.
- 49% of California students do not have access to after school programs.
- 12% of California seniors (56,000) drop out of high school every year, costing out economy $22 billion every year.
What This Means for Our Communities
With per-pupil funding so low, Californians have been forced to find other temporary, volatile, and regressive ways of funding their local schools. Meanwhile, our state's continued failure to invest in public education and prepare our students for the economy of tomorrow is hurting California's growth.
- In 2016 alone, there were 430 revenue measures on the ballot across California.
- PTA's and private foundations raise over $600m every year for schools in order to make up for the loss of state funding.
- Only 42% of California high school graduates meet entrance requirements for CSU and UC, harming the economy due to a lack of qualified graduates to meet the growing demand.
- Only 36% of California graduating students met the core readiness standards in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
It's time for California to Fund Our Schools
California cannot afford to shortchange its children any longer. After decades of defunding public education and severe budget cuts, it is time for change. While Californians are being nickled and dimed through increased income, sales, and parcel taxes to fund our schools, large corporations are saving billions of dollars in property taxes every year. It is time for California to close the corporate loophole in Prop. 13 and generate $5 billion a year in desperately needed revenue for our schools.