By Andres Ibarra |Staff Writer|
California’s educational system has come under some recent scrutiny. Neel Kashkari, Republican candidate for Governor of California, hopes to change that.
Kashkari has ideas to overhaul the state’s educational system and change the way they’re funded. He hopes to make traditional schools more like charter schools, which also include increasing online education.
One of his ideas is to send money directly to the schools rather than the school district and change the educational code so that schools operate like charters.
Additionally he would increase the amount of time needed to attend school during the day and during the year, as well as increase merit pay for teachers.
“We can absolutely transform California’s education system into a force that not only lifts student achievement, but ultimately addresses income inequality and eradicates poverty from our communities,” said Kashkari in a proposal.
His proposal includes an increase in online classes, including the UC and the CSU systems, requiring that each of them to put 20 percent of their classes online.
Another addition includes a scholarship program for students who major in science, technology, math, or engineering, in exchange for a small, but unspecified percentage of what they earn in the future.
Kashkari also plans to allow more local authority and less state authority, and hopes for more changes that will require centralized intervention.
John Rogers, the Director of the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access in UCLA explained that a lot of suspicion surrounds a big government with contradictory initiatives and goals.
“He wants to, at least rhetorically, suggest that we need less government, not more. It’s very difficult to do these things at the same time,” said Rogers.
Ben Austin, Chief Executive of the non-profit organization Parent Revolution, was in favor of Kashkari’s proposals, citing localized school funding and throwing out parts of the educational code.
Among students, these ideas have also had some mixed responses with the proposed increase of online classes being the most unpopular.
“More online classes would be a bad idea. Physical classes feel more motivating while I feel online classes may encourage procrastination,” said student Erika Chavez.
”Online classes give students less human interaction,” said junior Matt Deer.
Senior Raymond Aguire, however said that, “It’s a good idea in that it gives people more choices.”
The proposals to make schools more like a charter school were better received by students, as Deer says that it “gives schools more control and helps implement their own rules.”
“Charter-like schools can be beneficial for students,” added Oropeza.
California’s education system has had a lot of troubles prior to Gov. Jerry Brown’s term and although many people and politicians were skeptical, many also agreed that he’s handled the educational system fairly well.
“While the governor’s not perfect, he’s exceeded expectations when it comes to making tough calls on kids,” said Austin, citing Brown’s shift in school funding that provides more money to disadvantaged schools and how he vetoed a bill that claimed to streamline a process to fire bad teachers but instead increased teacher protection.
As of now, Kashkari stands firm on his proposals to restructure the California school system.
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