Today we published a Dan Walters column about a lawsuit, filed last week by an assortment of education groups, alleging that the funding system for California’s K-12 system is so messed up it’s unconstitutional.

The president of one of those groups, the California School Boards Association, is none other than Frank Pugh, longtime member of the Santa Rosa school board. Pugh has written a guest opinion for us about the lawsuit that we’ll be publishing in tomorrow’s edition. We just posted it on

It’s not clear whether this lawsuit will go anywhere. But it certainly addresses a question I’ve often asked: If the courts can find the treatment of prisoners unconstitutional, why not the treatment of students? Both are under the care and protection of the state – at least, for children, during the school day.

Pugh notes in his column: “California spends $2,131 less per pupil than the national average, ranking the state 44th in the country. When adjusted for regional cost differences of providing educational services, California spends $2,856 less per pupil than the national average, or 47th among all states. From a different perspective, California spends less per pupil than each of the largest 10 states in the nation almost $6,000 less per pupil than New York . . .  Wth school funding not being a priority in our state, is it any wonder why we are not as successful as we should be in student achievement?”

Pugh says the lawsuit was filed as a last resort. To read the guest opinion, click here.
To read Walters’ column, click here.
To find out more about the lawsuit, go to

– Paul Gullixson