Rethinking education reform in California

James Guthrie:

As California’s budget crisis deepens, many fear that education funding could soon be placed back on the chopping block. Per-student funding of K-12 schools has already been reduced by more than 20 percent. If budgets are cut further, will it even be possible to get a high-quality education in California public schools?
The simple answer is yes. A high-quality education might be priceless in today’s economy. But it doesn’t have to be overly expensive to provide.
In this recession, nearly every state has already cut services. In fact, “elementary and high schools are receiving less state funding than last year in at least 37 states,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
But if we operate under the assumption that primary and secondary education have to be expensive to be good, we will be needlessly trading quality for austerity and thereby shortchange students.