Press conference to address devastating effect of recession, cuts on state’s public schools

A telephone press conference will be held to discuss the findings of the most recent annual California Educational Opportunity Report by UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access ( UCLA IDEA ) and the University of California’s All-Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity ( UC ACCORD ).

Even before the recession, California ranked 46th in per-pupil expenditures, providing students with less access to quality learning conditions than most of the rest of the nation. The current economic crisis has brought with it new challenges across the state, particularly to schools with high proportions of students from poor families. Drawing on the most recent state data, the report examines the relationship among educational goals, achievement and conditions in California’s public schools.

To participate in the press conference, call 800-772-3714, or access the live Web presentation by visiting www.readytalk.com and using the access code 2674408.

To help illuminate the current effects of the recession on California children and public schools, UCLA IDEA also conducted interviews with a representative sample of 87 principals from across the state. Among the findings:

Nearly two-thirds of principals reported that teachers in their schools have been laid off, "bumped" or threatened with layoffs. Actual layoffs were more than four times as likely to be reported in high-poverty schools as in low-poverty ones. Teacher layoffs have led public schools to increase class size.

Most schools have reduced or eliminated essential programs like summer school, after school tutoring, music and art. Many have turned to parents to pay for programs that previously were provided to all students.

A broader set of analyses of educational conditions and outcomes, including reports on each California legislative district and reports on each public high school and middle school in the state, can be found online after the press conference at www.edopp.org .


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