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Schwarzenegger threatens to veto school reform legislation

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today threatened to veto an Assembly version of legislation to reform California’s schools, saying it falls short of the steps needed to overhaul education and make the state more competitive for $700 million in federal funds.

Schwarzenegger supports a state Senate bill that goes further in giving parents the ability to move their kids from poorly performing schools and force changes at such schools. The reforms are seen by Schwarzenegger as important to compete for federal Race to the Top grants. He also said the Assembly measure inhibits the formation and renewal of charter schools.

"I think it’s unacceptable for the Assembly to water down the education reforms, and I want to make it clear I will not sign the bill the way it is," Schwarzenegger said at a Capitol news conference. "This is a race to the top, not a race to mediocrity, or a race to the status quo."

The full Assembly is scheduled to take up the legislation, ABX5 8, as early as this afternoon.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Comments () | Archives (10)

The Only way to fix the Public school system is to offer vouchers across the State. This would force poor schools to close or to turn things around. Vouchers, Vouchers, Vouchers! We need them now!

Why have a race to the top when the funding is on a race to the bottom? And, politicians support this funding, but why do we not see Republican educators- you know, the ones actually working in the system- supporting this program.

Part of the problem is our schools, but a bigger part of the problem is our families and our society. How do you teach children who refuse to learn?

Stand firm governor. We need that Federal money, but, more important, our kids need better schools, and parents need to have a say in EVERYTHING about these schools, and how they're run. It's the only way were going to get them turned around for the better. They better NOT inhibit the formation and renewal of Charter schools, or they'll really have a fight on their hands. Our schools have had enough years to turn themselves around, and all they've done is worsen. Parents are beyond fed up.

If we can't have vouchers at this point in time, then the least they can do is turn all the schools into Charters, and get out of the way, and that means the unions too. Parents should be listened to and included in this process, and should be allowed to choose their schools.

Personally if I had vouchers, I could send my children to the best rated and most expensive Private school ($20,000 per child) in our area. And this is about $3,000 less than what is paid per pupil at our public school each year. This private school runs circles around our "forced to go to" crappy and unsafe public school. It's a sickening crime.

The step of "giving parents the ability to move their kids from poorly performing schools and force changes at such schools" is one of the final steps in NCLB. So Arne Duncan has done zero in reforming NCLB that everyone knows leaves every child behind.

The questions the many don't ask is: 1) who will pay for the transportation to move the kids from one school to another? Most school districts don't have the funds because the Gov cut education funding. 2) Often under performing schools are clustered in poor areas, how far would students have to travel to go to a better school? Example: East or Sout LA students all transfered to valley schools? 3) If the student has been in an under-performing school and moves to a high achieving school often the student has a very hard time keeping up the pace. So they go from A's/B's to C's. Not too much of a problem in elementary school but not good for a high schooler with dreams of college.

Last of all, I'm for improvements but Arne Duncan is not an educator, he is a pro-basketball player. Out of all of Obama's appointments Duncan has zero leadership and very in-effective. He's just gone ahead with NCLB with a new name. That's not change or hope its lack of vision.

Ignorance has no color, I can tell by some of the comments I read. A large part of the problem "Lance" is not the children who refuse to learn, how about the weak, no-mind teachers who are only interested in their jobs and not educating the children. I don't blame it on the children when a school has a population of 3500 and only 45 are math proficient. I think that says something about the adminstration and staff don't you agree? Or how about a teacher who is a known molester and instead of being fired he is sent to another school only to do the same thing and his actions then be covered by his friends. THINK

To everyone who thinks that vouchers are the answer, maybe you should think about WHY the legislators or so pro-voucher.

Think about the math here.

A student is worth about 9k at each school, IF he/she has perfect attendance (schools lose money when students have unexcused absences). If you get a voucher for 3k and send your kid to a private or charter school, that public school loses 9k in funds. And where does the other 6k go? Back to the legislature. That money can then be used for other projects that the legislators want to fund. That 6k does NOT go back to the schools. It's lost!

Also, study after study has shown that not only do charters and private school NOT have better scores, a significant number of them have LOWER scores than their public school neighbors. Charters and private schools have no accountability, can pick and choose their kids, and get outside funding. There is absolutely NO guarantee that your kids will get a better education outside of your local public school, voucher or no voucher.

Glad my kids are out of school.

As an educator who actually works in the schools, what we need is to stop having our funding at the school level eaten up by outside consultants, charters, etc. I see a lot of people do not work in the schools but have a lot of opinions on what should happen inside the schools. How do you motivate students to learn, when they do not want to be here sometimes, have outside situations that distract them, and the list can go on and on.

Don't believe the trash Arnie is telling you. He lied to the teachers when he borrowed 2 billion and never paid it back. Also, CA, has some of the lowest per student spending in the US. That is pretty pathetic. Get the money to education and you will see scores improve. Take the money away from the loser convicts who have nothing to live for anyway since they are a waste. They need a roof, 3 meals, and that is it. Also. if they end bussing to out of area schools in the larger districts that will also save a large chink of change.


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