Five years ago, then-Governor Schwarzenegger, then-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, and the leadership of the Assembly and Senate commissioned a comprehensive summary and analysis of California’s school finance and governance systems. The result was the 23 reports collectively known as the Getting Down to Facts Project (GDTF). A recent PACE report commemorates the fifth anniversary of the project, reviewing what has changed (and what has not) since the reports came out.
Although the specific focus of the GDTF project was finance and governance, the original studies also highlighted a number of problems and inefficiencies in how districts mange personnel (meaning both teachers and administrators). Perhaps one of the most striking facts that people remember from the original studies is how few adults per student there were in California schools. As the chart shows, not much has improved on that front: