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Schools chief: Calif. education system ‘precarious’

Warning that its public schools are in a "precarious" state, California’s top education official on Tuesday called for more money even as lawmakers were considering billions of dollars in cuts to help address the state’s massive budget deficit, AP reports. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said California’s system of funding education, in which money is directed at dozens of specialized programs enshrined over decades, isn’t working. California spends about $48 billion a year on K-12 education, almost half its general fund, but its students fare poorly when compared to their peers in other states on standardized tests. The state’s schools also have a persistent gap in achievement rates: white, Asian and wealthier students far outperform students who are black, Hispanic and poor. O’Connell said without more money, California will ensure a two-tiered education system for its students…

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