Friday, September 10, 2010

California Schools

California's schools used to vie for the number 1 spot in the country.

Then, Proposition 13 was voted in by gullible Californians. The measure freezes property taxes at the level for when the property last changed hands. Such a measure might have worked for principal residences, but the tax break covers every square inch of the state. Why taxing places like Disneyland at their 1977 value remains in place as a populist measure is a mystery.

Anyway, property taxes funded schools, which have been in free-fall ever since.

Two of the most egregious things one finds in schools here are old books and old buildings. Libraries are still filled with books that date back to the fifties. Kids can read about life without computers, cell phones, and in some cases, television. Many schools have, "Temporary bungalows." Many of those date back to WWII. They were well built, but they were only meant to last the duration of the war. They were not built to be cleaned or maintained. Consequently, they are full of dust and impossible to be in.

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