Contact: Maria Mejia, 510-763-2444 x108, [email protected]


California’s K-12 Schools Don’t Employ Enough Adults to Ensure Students have the Support they Need to Succeed 

New brief from Children Now shows California is underfunding public schools


OAKLAND, Calif. — California schools are not adequately employing enough educators and staff to accommodate smaller class sizes, more counseling, broader course offerings and other support services which are critical to kids’ success according to a new brief released by Children Now today.

The brief, “Not Enough Adults to Go Around: Underfunded California Schools Provide Less Support for Kids”, analyzes key areas like professional staffing and development, student-teacher ratios, per pupil spending, and student performance. It makes comparisons between three similar high schools in California, Illinois, and New Jersey to shine a light on how funds are spent and what California’s schools could look like if the funding level was increased.

“California is at the bottom of the country in terms of the amount of supports it provides to its students, which is a huge reason why kids aren’t doing well,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, ”We have the highest adult-to-student ratios in the nation – with a ratio exceeding 22 to 1 – and schools are not staffed appropriately. If, as a state, we’re serious about providing an equitable, high-quality education for all kids, state leaders must invest more in education”

When schools are understaffed, teachers have less time to improve their practice, schools have less course variety for students, and students have few extra-curricular classes to choose from. This lack of resources most negatively impacts vulnerable student populations – which include children in foster care, English language learners, children with disabilities, and those from households with low-incomes – while also affecting every student’s academic success. In order to improve California’s education rank in the nation, which currently sits in the bottom at 36th, the state should focus on making kids a priority and make the needed investments to support their education.


About Children Now

Children Now is a non-partisan, whole-child research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health and education in California. The organization also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a network of more than 3,000 direct service, parent, civil rights, faith-based and community groups dedicated to improving children’s well-being.