California schools must cope with declining financial resources, ever-changing sociological circumstances of students and pressure from state and federal governments to raise academic performance - a combination of forces that may be overwhelming, a new report from EdSource, a Mountain View educational think tank says in a new report.
The report was issued Tuesday as Gov.-elect Jerry Brown convened his second major public discussion on the state's budgetary crisis in Los Angeles, this one focusing on education.
"California is above average in capacity but below average in effort," the lengthy report says. "Additionally, this state spends less on K-12 education than on many other public services, relative to the national average in each area. Given California's relatively large proportion of students and high cost of labor, this state's education expenditures yield staff-to-student levels that are at or near the bottom in nationwide rankings. And those rankings do not reflect California's recent, large cuts in K-12 education spending."
It adds: "And yet California's schools continue working to address the multifaceted needs of more than six million students and prepare them for the increasing demands of the global economy. As evidenced by scores on the California Standards Tests, student achievement has continually improved during the past eight years, but regular citizens and policymakers must confront the question of how to sustain those improvements as school resources dwindle."
The full report can be obtained from EdSource here.