Does Education Receive Enough of the State Budget?

By Brett Winterble

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Question: Here in California, what area of government receives the largest chunk of the General Fund budget?

Answer: K-12 education, it receives nearly 42% of the General Fund budget.

Are you surprised? You’re not alone if you are. According the Joel Fox, editor for Fox & Hounds, a website focused around California business and politics, a whooping 83% of potential voters got answer wrong. Most assume that prisons and corrections receive the biggest piece of the budget pie. This lack of knowledge by the voters regarding California’s budget could lead to confusion at the polls this coming November.

Though 49% of Californians support K-12 education receiving the majority of funds, only a fraction are aware that it already does. For those advocating funding for schools, this lack of public awareness could work in their favor come voting time.

Funds currently allocate over $10,000 per student, and proponents of the Proposition 30 extension that will likely be on the ballot in November, may hope that what the public doesn’t know will work in favor of passing the extension. The California School Board has recently stated that schools statewide are in need of $42 billion in order to properly prepare students for a life of success.

“Arguing for even a portion of that money is made easier if the voters thinks schools are neglected in the budget. Advocates for school spending might find a more willing electorate to agree to their arguments if they think that education is shorted in the budget year in and year out.” 

AM760’s Brett Winterble recently discussed the matter of the misinformed public with Fox. Listen to the full interview below.

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