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Schools and Prisons

July 14, 1994

As the father of two school-age children, I am again disappointed to read that education is taking another back seat in the budget process. Our representatives are once more misusing the state's most precious resource, its people.

Is it a coincidence that school classes and prisons are overcrowded? Could it be that our underfunded school system and increasing inmate populations are positively correlated? I suspect it is. . . . The state is contributing to the delinquency of its people.

The budget, as approved by the Senate, increases the allocation to prisons by 9% compared to schools whose increase will be less than the rate of inflation.

If more money were spent on education, maybe there wouldn't be a need for the state to build additional prisons.

By not adequately funding education, California creates its own demand for prisons to house the increasing inmate population (a self-fulfilling prophecy). Build them (prisons) and they (prisoners) will come.

SCOTT R. THAYER

Balboa Island

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