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State of Education Address: Progress Despite Budget Crunch

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, January 22, 2010
After an introduction from Sacramento’s John F. Kennedy High School Choir, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell gave teaches and administrators a pat on the back. He says test scores are up and dropout rates are down. He says three billion in federal stimulus dollars helped avoid some layoffs. And he says the federal “race to the top” grants may help too. But that’s all one-time money, and he urged state lawmakers to invest seriously in schools before it’s too late:

 “We really risk having to force more schools to further reduce instructional time, pack more kids into our already overcrowded classrooms, perhaps permanently close libraries, lay off school nurses and eliminate school transportation.”  

O'Connell says one of the biggest problems continues to be the so-called “achievement gap” between White and Asian students and their African-American and Latino counterparts
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