A little over a month removed from a strike by the Los Angeles teachers union, the City Council Tuesday approved a resolution calling for California public schools to be funded at the national average or higher by the year 2020, and at a level that is equal to or above the average of the top 10 states nationally by 2025.
The resolution approved on a 12-0 vote puts the council on record as officially supporting any legislative or administrative action at the state level that would help achieve the goal.
According to the resolution, California ranks 45th nationally in the percentage of taxable income spent on education, 41st in per-pupil funding, 45th in pupil-teacher ratios and 48th in pupil-staff ratios.
California funds schools at roughly $1,961 per student less than the national average, which translates to $3,462 per student when adjusted for California being a high-cost state, and California trails the average of the top 10 states by almost $7,000 in per-pupil funding, the resolution says.
In January, members of United Teachers Los Angeles went on strike for six school days, calling for smaller class sizes and the hiring of more support staff, such as nurses, counselors and librarians, along with a pay raise. The strike ended after a marathon negotiating session led by Mayor Eric Garcetti that resulted in a labor agreement.
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