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Monday, July 27, 2009

Helping Bob Brinker Understand the California Education System

Posted July 27, 2009...Bob Brinker's response to a caller this weekend about California's education system inspired this commentary written by JeffChristie:

"Saturday, Bob called in to Moneytalk. He was worried that we are taking the best health care system in the world and turning it into third world banana republic form of health care. Bob Brinker then asked, 'Bob, you are calling in from California. What is the reaction you are hearing there about California slashing $9,000,000,000 out of the education budget?' Caller Bob said, 'I know I want to tell you the truth. Most people don't really care. There are more administrator than there are teachers. For many, many years mandated education programs have cost the state. I mean we spent over $10,000 per student right now and about 60% of that goes to administration. The kids aren't being educated anyway. Most of the high school students can't pass the test they need to get out of high school. They have got to take it 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 times.'

Brinker did not seem happy about Bob's response. He said, 'you mean to tell our listeners that if you go to school in California you don't learn anything?' Then Brinker claimed that Bob hung up on him. I am suspicious as to which one of the Bob's hung up on the other. Brinker went on to say he has never heard that. We have never had a caller suggest that if you go to school in California you really don't learn very much. That caller was saying that the money goes to administrators..

After hearing this call I thought it might be interesting to look into this situation. I seem to remember reading a few months back that the California education system had high administrative costs because there are many school boards within a given county. One of the first article I found after doing a Google search was this one from the San Jose Mercury.

The article indicates that there are 34 school districts in the county. It also states that superintendents are paid around $200,000 including benefits. The writer doesn't agree with the findings of the grand jury that this is excessive. 34 school district with 34 superintendents would result in an annual cost of $6,800,000 for 34 employees.

I found it interesting that the school system was being investigated by a grand jury so I went to the court records to get more details. Here is the link to the court's website. Interestingly enough, the first grand jury report is titled who really benefits from the education dollars. Hint, it isn't the students. If you click on it you will see that the first question they are raising is why does the county need 34 school districts. If you read the entire report it seems to back up caller Bob's statement that too much money is going for administration.

You will also note that three more grand jury investigation were made targeting the county's education system. After reading all this, I think I now understand why they need such a large administrative staff. They seem to be facing more grand jury investigations than Tony Soprano and Johnny Sacks combined. They need all these people to respond to grand jury inquiries.

That still leaves us with Bob Brinker's question of do you mean to tell our listeners that if you go to school in California you don't learn anything? Brinker, I think the best way to address your question is to look at how the California school system stacks up to the rest of he country. Are you sitting down Brinker? The good news is California is not last. However when your state ranks 15 states below Arkansas I think that is a reason for concern. California ranks 47th out of 50 and your state Nevada is 49th. I guess now we can understand why Harry Reid is such a fool. Arizona is last so we know why John McCain was near the bottom of his class at Annapolis. Here is the link where I found the data."

Dixiegeezer sent this picture of an osprey getting ready to go fishing.

Here is the osprey holding a fish in his left claw -- look closely, it's there.


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