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Governor Is Graded on Education Funding

June 06, 2005

'Re "A Formula for More Math Teachers," June 1: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger deserves widespread congratulations for his proposal to get more credentialed math and science teachers in our public schools to alleviate the chronic shortage. Over half of California high schools have teachers of physics who do not even have a minor in physics.

Schwarzenegger's plan to have fully qualified science and math teachers after four years of college, rather than the usual five or six, is a great step forward, as is his proposal to have paid internships and forgivable loans.

The $1-million cost is a minuscule fraction of the annual budget for the University of California and California State University. UC President Robert Dynes summed it up quite well, saying, "Science and math are critical gateway skills in the global knowledge-based economy." Sadly, as is to be expected, the teachers union does not support the plan.

Devon Showley

Physics Professor Emeritus

Cypress College

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Re Schwarzenegger's lack of funding the $2 billion promised to the education budget and his proposals for smaller class sizes, science/math fast track, fresh fruit in the schools, etc.: This seems analogous to a situation where the employer tells his employee, "I'm sorry but I cannot pay the $50,000 salary agreed to in the contract because there just isn't the money this year. Please accept $45,000 instead. And, by the way, I will make a $900 contribution in your name to the cause of my choice."

Perhaps the state shouldn't be funding new programs when it can't afford the ones it has.

Susan Cuttriss

Fillmore

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