Disputes Claim on Teacher Salaries

Dear Editor:

In the recently approved California Budget for fiscal 2019-’20, Governor Newsome proposed a modest 3.7% increase in the state’s per/pupil funding bringing it to $12,003. On the occasion, Newsome stated, “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.” The world’s fifth largest economy can afford to do more for its children’s schools.

Unfortunately, Mr. George Laase (6/27) takes this same occasion to imply that California’s teachers take a too large portion of this deficient funding. Rather than argue that California, with its 6.2 million public school students is grossly underfunded when compared to the state of New York which funds its 2.7 million students at $20,000 each, he excoriates our teachers, who make on average $5,000 less than their NY peers.

In some arithmetic prestidigitation, he states “If NY’s teachers were to receive the same portion of their student funding as the average salaried teacher in CA, their average salary would increase over $42,000—more than… 50%-- to over $120,000 a year.” However, looked at through the correct end of the telescope, one would say, conversely, that scaling down the average CA’s teacher’s salaries by, say, 30%, would bring their salaries down near the $50,000 level. Good luck attracting solid, successful teachers with a salary inadequate for the cost of living in our state.


Bruce Lebedoff Anders

Culver City


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