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Governor’s Algebra Mandate To Cost $3 Billion

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

State education officials say it will cost the Governor roughly $3 billion dollars in state funding to implement his new eighth-grade Algebra mandate. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more. 

The Governor's mandate requires each student in California to take Algebra in the eighth grade. But state education say forcing kids to take the course regardless of their skill level sets them up for failure.

 

Even so, State School Superintendent Jack O'Connell has come up with a $3 billion dollar implementation plan that covers everything from extending the school day to recruiting more math teachers. 

 

He says the Governor needs to put his money where his mouth is. 

 

O’Connell: Now if he's not willing to provide the full funding necessary to support our students and teachers in reaching this mandate, then its incumbent on the Governor to instruct the state board to reconsider the Algebra 1 requirement.  

 

State education officials blasted the Governor last month when the state mandate was approved. They say Schwarzenegger pressured the state school board to adopt the reform. 

 

For his part, the Governor says he's ready to figure out the best way to implement the plan. But O'Connell says he needs to take action now. Schools have just three years to make the curriculum overhaul. 

 

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

 

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