Calif. should do right by students (Rep. Mike Honda)

 California’s case is demonstrative of a problem that persists nationally.  The plaintiffs in Robles-Wong v CA claim that California has created a pattern of disparities that fails many of our children, some more than others, by not documenting the costs of delivering the constitutionally-required education program.  Robles-Wong v CA concludes that the state’s education finance system is irrational, unstable, unpredictable, and has made no attempt to align funding policies and mechanisms.  Sadly, California is not alone. Most states, in fact, struggle with similar disparities. 
 
If California wants to correct its incoherency, and quickly, it first needs to conduct an analysis of all physical and personnel costs associated with schooling in order to meet state-prescribed standards.  Secondly, it must conduct an analysis of the costs associated with varying learning needs of each student.  Thirdly, it must develop an education finance system that is based on the actual costs for both schooling and student needs.
 
What is most important, at the end of the day, is that we’ve developed a process that ascertains and addresses the learning needs of each child – in California and throughout the country.  That is the only way we can understand student differences and fund classrooms according to the actual students in those classrooms.  It is also the only way we can ensure that our country’s future leaders remain competent and competitive.

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