Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education
Affordability of A High-Quality Education System
California's system of public education has been one of the most respected in the nation and around the world, in large measure because of its commitment to access, quality, affordability, and choice. However, the expense of fully meeting all these goals, during times of strong enrollment demand and fluctuating tax revenues, is more than state government can meet alone. Realistically, the fiscal responsibility for providing broad access to high-quality public education has to be shared by state government, local communities, students and their families, and the businesses that employ high school and college graduates. California should encourage efforts to share facilities and instructional equipment between and among education institutions - public, independent, and private - as well as other governmental entities and community-based organizations. The State should also actively encourage collaboration between public educational institutions and private employers, particularly in the areas of technology, personnel exchanges, and loans of private employer personnel for part-time teaching assignments in public schools.
The State should take the lead in developing educational technology partnerships that include the public, private, non-profit, and for-profit sectors.
To develop effective use of and access to educational technology, the State should take advantage of all available resources. There are many organizations that have expertise in this arena. The State should draw on this expertise and be responsible for bringing together leaders in the field to develop 'cutting-edge' technology that can augment instructional delivery and facilitate the accomplishment of learning objectives. Many agencies have initiated a number of exciting applications of technology to enhance teaching and learning and to streamline administrative practices. Many of these initiatives have already been introduced by private sector businesses responding to compelling business needs, but they also have applicability for educational institutions. Others have been developed within the education sector and have application in a broader arena. A key consideration for the State is the extent to which education and business can collaborate to scale up their respective initiatives into a coordinated and complementary delivery system that would meet both educational and business needs for creating lifelong learners. Consistent with this objective, we also recommend the following:
The State should encourage local education agencies to establish partnerships with utilities, telecommunication companies, software and hardware providers, and others, to facilitate functional universal access to technology in all public schools, colleges, and universities.
The State and local communities should establish incentives for joint development and use of school facilities, with cities and counties, including libraries, classrooms, other learning sites, and recreational and community space.
- New construction should be linked to the community, and better links should be established with the community in existing schools.
- The facilities should be constructed in compliance with the uniform building codes applicable to other public buildings, such as libraries and government offices.
- Technology should be integrated and support distributed learning in these and other settings.
The State should provide incentives to encourage businesses to contribute to meeting the technology infrastructure and upgrade needs of public education institutions and the communities they serve.