This is what Gov. Gavin Newsom said about education in his first State of the State speech on Jan. 12, 2019, delivered in the Assembly chambers in the State Capitol.
By every traditional measure, the state of our state is strong.
We have a record-breaking surplus. We’ve added 3 million jobs since the depths of the recession. Wages are rising. We have more scientists, researchers, and engineers, more Nobel laureates, and the finest system of higher education anywhere in the world.
But along with that prosperity and progress, there are problems that have been deferred for too long and that threaten to put the California dream out of reach for too many ….
The teachers’ strike in Los Angeles is over — but the need to confront its underlying causes has only just begun. Understaffed schools, overcrowded classrooms, pension pressures, the achievement gap, and charter school growth — these stressors are showing up all over the state, right here in Sacramento, in Fresno, and Oakland.
Districts across the state are challenged to balance budgets even in this strong economy, and at a time when we’re spending more on schools than ever before.
Seven years ago, we invested $47.3 billion in our schools. Next year, with your support, we’ll invest more than $80 billion — that includes $576 million for special education.
But it’s not enough. We’re still 41st in the nation in per pupil funding. Something needs to change. We need to have an honest conversation about how we fund our schools at a state and local level.
But at the same time, let’s remember that the measure of a school system’s excellence is more than the sum of its budgets.
We need clear and achievable standards of transparency, more information sharing, and accountability for all public schools … traditional and charter.
We need a new President for the State Board of Education, to lead the way and work alongside State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, and to lift up all of our students. And my pick for that position is nationally recognized education expert Linda Darling-Hammond.”
For a transcript of the entire speech, go here.
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