If the public keeps voting for a mediocre school system by repeatedly voting down adequate school financing, we should give them the mediocre schools they want. That's how one of my fellow teacher responds to the public's habit of voting down ballot measures such as Proposition 71 that was designed to provide needed financial aid to our public schools.
The public is fortunate that so many teachers are professional enough that they would not consciously do less than their best, but the lack of financial support from the public doesn't do much for our morale which does influence performance.
The lack of money also negatively influences education by necessitating large class sizes and inadequate supplies.
Even in my high-paying district, the average salary for an experienced teacher is a little over $30,000 per year, hardly appropriate for a highly educated person in one of the most stressful jobs there is. At this rate, many teachers, especially the most capable, look elsewhere for jobs or don't consider the field at all. Even my students have asked me why I waste my time being a teacher when I could do better elsewhere!
Fortunately, the public has another opportunity to help fund the schools. A measure on the November ballot will allow the state to spend a little more on education.