Governor Pete Wilson on Education

Education, along with public safety, have been the top two
priorities in every budget proposed by Governor Wilson. The Governor
supported the increased funding necessary to meet the growing enrollment
of California schools, while also promoting reforms -- like charter
schools, school safety, public school choice and better health care for
children -- to improve the learning environment and quality of education
our children receive.

K-12 Education Funding. Governor Wilson has continually increased
funding for education. From 1990-91 to 1994-95, total funding for K-12
education increased by $4.1 billion or 16.4 percent, from $25 billion to
$29.1 billion. And the Governor's 1994-95 proposal exceeds Proposition 98
minimum funding requirements by $336 million.

* Charter Schools. In 1992, Governor Wilson launched the Charter
Schools program by signing SB 1448 (Hart). This allows communities to
create their own schools, supported by public education funds, that are
more responsive to the needs of the community and are free of unnecessary
bureaucratic red tape. As of January 1994, 30 charter schools have
opened, and an additional 16 schools have been approved to open in
September 1994. Now the Governor wants to remove the 100 charter school
limit set by law.

* State Preschool Program. In his first budget (1991-92) Governor
Wilson proposed a $45 million increase in funding for the expansion of
the State Preschool Program. The Governor increased the number of
children attending preschool by an additional 21,000 and more than
doubled funding for the program to a total of $85 million. The Governor's
1994-95 budget proposes a $25 million expansion of state sponsored
preschool services, which could serve and additional 16,000 children.

* Safer Schools. Governor Wilson wants "zero tolerance" of weapons and
drugs at schools, and has proposed $20 million to remove students who have
been expelled for possession of weapons or drugs and provide alternative
educational programs at separate campuses. Governor Wilson has also
proposed that juveniles aged 14 or older who commit violent crimes be
tried as adults. In addition, his 1994-95 budget has proposed $3 million
to provide training on hate crime awareness and conflict resolution to
school staff and students.

* Healthy Start. Governor Wilson's Healthy Start program to help
young children struggling with inadequate nutrition, mental or physical
health problems, or dsyfunctional families, served an estimted 155,000
kids in 1993. The Governor's 1994-95 budget proposal includes an increase
of $20 million for the Healthy Start program. This increase could provide
grants to approximately 475 additional schools, and potentially serve
more than 300,000 students annually.


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California Voter Foundation 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 & 1998