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State Education Report Cites Illogical Funding, Over-Complexity

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Aired 4/19/09

California schools are doing a poor job, and a massive overhaul of the system -- combined with lots more money -- will be needed to make changes. That's the finding of a 1,700-page report that was requested by legislative leaders and released, in part, on Wednesday. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

The report, coordinated by Stanford University researchers, says teachers are not adequately evaluated and administrators are bound by heavy regulation that does little to support classroom learning. In response, Governor Schwarzenegger said reforming the education system will be his focus next year -- and he’s confident the non-partisan study will help foster controversial changes.

Schwarzenegger : This is the first time since I've been here in Sacramento -- which only has been three years -- that I feel there's great hope to reform the system. Because I think the people have tried it but there are certain powers out there that won't let it happen.

The study also says the state education system’s financing structure is overwhelmingly complex and that funds are distributed irrationally. More on the costs will be released Thursday, but some have said to address the issues will easily be in the tens of billions of dollars.

The series of 22 studies was requested by the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence, the Democratic Assembly Speaker and Senate President Pro-Tem. It was funded with money from four foundations.

Jenny O'Mara, KPBS News.

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