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California Briefing / SACRAMENTO

O'Connell urges algebra funding

August 13, 2008|Howard Blume

The state schools chief joined academics, school officials and labor groups Tuesday in calling on the governor to set aside $3.1 billion to help all eighth-graders succeed in algebra.

The call for funding by state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell comes one month after the state Board of Education sided with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to require that eighth-graders be tested in algebra within three years.

In 2007, 52% of eighth-graders took algebra, with 38% testing as proficient. Getting all students ready would require smaller classes, additional materials, more instruction time and additional teacher training and recruitment, O'Connell said.

In a statement, Schwarzenegger praised O'Connell for engaging on the issue, but avoided mention of funding. The state faces a multibillion-dollar deficit.

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