Friday, September 16, 2005


And still does little good

"Flat, or even declining school enrollment, is the dirty little secret of the California education budget wars. While the Governor increased spending by over 6% this year, enrollment only increased by 0.4% comparing 2004/2005 vs. 2003/2004. Further, the California Department of Finance, which tracks and forecasts census data, now estimates school registration will grow at an annual rate of less than 0.4% through the year 2013.

Thus, just a 3.4% annual budget increase would cover both enrollment growth and inflation to maintain the current standard of school funding in California for at least the next 8 years. But that is just one of the many little secrets about school registration that the mainstream media simply refuses to report.

Did you know, for instance, that elementary school enrollment has declined in California for two consecutive years? Or, that total enrollment dropped in every coastal county but Santa Barbara when comparing 2004/2005 vs. 2003/2004? Or, that over 43% of all schoolchildren in the state are concentrated in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties but their elementary school registration has already declined for three consecutive years and is now below the level of 1999? That decline will continue because there are even fewer students in the first three grades to replace the children now in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades.

The San Francisco Bay area hasn’t fared much better with a year over year increase of just 387 students in that six county region. Apparently children are becoming as unaffordable as our housing prices.

Enrollment growth is now limited to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties plus the central valley from Bakersfield to Sacramento. This is an enormous turnaround from the last 10 years when the 5 Southern California Counties accounted for 69% of all registration increases in the state.

So, where did all the children go? The short answer is that we stopped making so many of them. Californians set a record when over 612,000 children were born in 1990 but the birthrate then plunged by 15% over the next 9 years. The California Department of Finance now estimates nearly a quarter century will have passed before we again reach the birthrate level of 1990. Further, the Department of Finance estimates school registration will grow a total of just 2.6% in the next eight years. That is miniscule compared to 1995 and 1996 when the single year increases were 2.4% and 2.7% respectively.

Recent news reports indicate dozens of California school districts are in financial trouble due to declining enrollment and thus lower reimbursement from the state treasury. They simply don’t seem to grasp the management concept of private businesses who reduce their staff when they have fewer customers.

Meanwhile the education lobby continues their scare tactics with the public as they release stories about teacher shortages even as they campaign for a Universal Preschool program requiring another 22,000 instructors. The program promises to save 10,000 dropouts per year at a taxpayer cost of $2 billion annually. Admirable, but that is $200,000 per dropout and saves only 7% of the kids who don’t make it to graduation each year.

The California Teachers Association clearly would like to return to the days when Governor Davis threw salary and benefits at them as they threw money into his campaigns. But, there was no impact on classrooms. Between 1998 and 2004, enrollment grew by 8.2%, the number of teachers grew by 8.1%, the number of administrators grew by 14% and the total number of non-teaching employees grew by 11.2%. The latter now account for 52.7% of all employees. During the Davis administration California’s teachers achieved an average base salary $11,000, or 22%, higher than the U.S. average.

So why haven’t you seen these facts before? Apparently no State Senator or Assemblyman who desires reelection is willing to confront the teacher’s lobby with the truth. Major newspapers presented with the facts simply call a couple of education lobbyists for background information who then tell them enrollment will soon start soaring again. What else would they say? Any lobbyist who spoke the truth would be blackballed from contract work in every district in the state. As for the Governor’s office, his advisors seem unaware of key school enrollment facts which clearly support his education agenda".


Schooldays last the longest for Australian children

Australian children will spend more time in formal education than children in any other developed country, an international study says. An Australian child aged five in 2003 can expect to be in education for 21.1 years, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report released yesterday shows. That was the highest of its 30 members, followed by Britain and Sweden, where children are likely to be students for just more than 20 years. Australia's public schools also have some of the highest number of instruction hours for children aged seven to 14 - with 8000 hours of classroom learning over this period - trailing only Italy and the Netherlands.

The findings come in Education at a Glance 2005 — a snapshot of education trends around the world. The report says more people are studying longer and most young people - on average, 53 per cent - will take part in some tertiary education.

On average, a five-year-old in most OECD countries will take part in education for 16 to 21 years. Females are completing secondary and tertiary education at faster rates than males in most countries, but remain less engaged in maths and science.

Women still earn less than males with similar education achievements — from 60 to 80 per cent of what men earn. The report attributes this to differences in career choices and time spent in the workforce.

The number of foreign students is rising, up 11.5 per cent from the previous year to 2.1 million foreign students in 2003. Australia, France, Germany, Britain and the United States receive about 70 per cent of foreign students, many from China, Korea and Japan. Australia had the highest percentage of foreign students in tertiary education, at 19 per cent.

The big spenders on school education were Switzerland and the US, at more than $14,000 per student, with Australia below the average at about $9000.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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