Reports on Education

  • A New Plan for a New Economy: Reimagining Higher Education
    (Report #218, October 2013)
  • Serving Students, Serving California: Updating the California Community Colleges to Meet Evolving Demands
    (Report #210, February 2012)
  • Smarter Choices, Better Education: Improving California Charter Schools
    (Report #202, November 2010)
  • Educational Governance & Accountability: Taking the Next Step
    (Report #191, May 2008)
  • Career Technical Education: Creating Options for High School Success
    (Report #189, November 2007)
  • The State Allocation Board: Improving Transparency and Structure
    (Report #188, August 2007)
  • Teach Our Children Well
    (Report #160, September 2001)
  • Open Doors and Open Minds: Improving Access and Quality in California's Community Colleges
    (Report #154, March 2000)
  • To Build A Better School
    (Report #153, February 2000)
  • Recommendations for Improving the School Facility Program in Los Angeles Unified School District
    (Report #153a, November 1999)
  • Dollars and Sense: A Simple Approach to School Finance
    (Report #143, July 1997)
  • The Charter Movement: Education Reform School by School
    (Report #138, March 1996)

    California's charter law was enacted three years ago and there are now more than 100 charter schools. Following a six-month study and on-site inspection of more than one quarter of the schools, the Little Hoover Commision believes they are a positive force in today's education system. In this report, the Commission presents four findings and twenty-three recommendations to modify the existing charter school law, including: eliminating the 100-school cap; funding charter schools directly from the State; recognizing charter schools as seperate, legal agencies; creating alternative sponsors and alternative petition mechanisms; and clarifying the funding base for charter schools.
  • A Chance to Succeed: Providing English Learners with Supportive Education
    (Report #122, July 1993)

    California is doing a poor job of educating students who do not speak English fluently. The Commission examines the current system, which requires a single teaching method, and finds that it is divisive, wasteful and counterproductive. In three findings and five recommendations, the Commission recommends revising state funding mechanisms so that schools have an incentive to help students attain English proficiency; establishing a state framework for local control over methods used; and holding schools accountable for results.
  • Coping with Education Budget Cuts (Issue Paper)
    (Report #118, July 1992)

    Over the past 15 years, the Commission has examined California's K-12 education system repeatedly. In numerous reports, the Commission has made recommendations that, if adopted by the State, would result in more effective education programs and more efficient use of taxpayers' dollars. This issue paper outlines five areas from previous reports. Specifically, the Commission recommends setting up a program to take over the operation of districts that deficit spend for three years; creating statewide collective bargaining; ensuring that more dollars reach the classroom; consolidating small school districts; and eliminating or regionalizing county offices of education.
  • No Room for Johnny: A New Approach to the School Facilities Crisis
    (Report #117, June 1992)

    School facilities in California are in crisis as the State struggles with an anticipated increase of two million students by the year 2000 in an education system already threadbare and bursting at the seams. The Commission focuses on three areas in this study: funding sources for facilities, the state approval process for building schools, and state policies that constrain districts from maximizing the use of their assets. This report contains four findings and 16 recommendations, including modifying current law to return the responsibility of funding new school facilities to the local school districts, thereby limiting the State's role to ensuring equity. In addition, the Commission proposes a one-stop shopping system so school districts have a single point of contact for facility projects.
  • Costs and Casualties of K-12 Education in California
    (Report #111, June 1991)

    California spends more than $27 billion on K-12 education. In this report, the Commission examines educational costs in an attempt to determine where education dollars are being spent and how much reaches the classroom. In addition, the study addresses one of the most critical problems facing education today -- the dropout rate. The Commission makes five findings and 11 recommendations regarding financial responsibility and obligations, current school funding methods, collective bargaining, and the State's efforts to reduce the dropout rate.
  • K-12 Education in California: A Look At Some Policy Issues
    (Report #100, February 1990)

    The structures put in place by the Constitution and statutes to govern state education policy are fundamentally flawed, the Commission concludes in this study. In addition, regulatory processes are routinely ignored; categorical programs are not allowed to operate effectively; and the attendance reporting system spends too much time tracking students who are not actually attending school and does little to effectively encourage attendance. Foremost among the report's seven findings and eight recommendations, the Commission proposes that the State Board of Education be given the resources it needs to carry out its responsibilities; that the Attorney General take action to prevent further violations of the Administrative Procedure Act by the Superintendent; and that attendance accounting procedures be revised and emphasis placed on the importance of school attendance.
  • A Report on Crime and Violence in California's Public School System
    (Report #91, December 1988)

    Although a provision in the California Constitution guarantees the right to safe schools, life on school campuses includes violent crimes, substance abuse and property crimes. The Commission found that these problems exist in part because the State has failed to provide the leadership and direction necessary to ensure the safety of children. This report makes two findings and 12 recommendations, which include urging the Governor and the Legislature to enact legislation to provide incentives that encourage parental and community involvement; expand existing school/law enforcement partnerships; and adopt alcohol and drug abuse education programs.
  • Report on the Financial Management and Accountability in the State's K-12 Public School System
    (Report #85, November 1987)

    The Commission presents five findings regarding financial management, accountability and control in the Senate's K-12 public school districts. Among the eight recommendations made by the commission are: providing the Superintendent of Public Instruction with greater authority to intervene in school districts that fail to act in a financially responsible manner; increasing the number of financial management assistance reviews by the State Department of Education; and requiring the annual audits of school districts to contain additional information on a district's financial condition and performance.
  • A Review of Crime on University of California Campuses
    (Report #82, June 1987)

    This letter report conducts a review of crime on University of California (UC) campuses and what is being done to protect the safety of students. The Commission addresses concerns regarding the adequacy of security provided on UC campuses and offers 6 recommendations, including appointing a security review committee to identify problems and enhancing existing security.
  • A Report on the Lack of Financial Accountability and Responsibility in the State's K-12 Public School System
    (Report #75, December 1986)

    Public officials sometimes fail to recognize looming fiscal crises in California's K-12 public school system and to take appropriate, immediate actions to avert them. This report examines the consequences of the State's failure to adequately monitor school district fiscal performance, including its effect on the education of students. The Commission makes seven recommendations to improve controls over the education system, including expanding and defining the role of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in regard to financial accountability, increasing requirements for school district reporting and placing adequate controls on the use of funds by school districts.
  • A Review of Use of Lottery Funds in the State's K-12 Public School System
    (Report #73, June 1986)

    The approval of a state lottery by voters creates the need for new systems of accountability. This report focuses on determining if the State has established a sound system to allocate, use and account for lottery funds distributed to education. It also reviews the processes used by school districts to develop priorites for spending lottery funds and the expenditures that school districts have made with these funds. The Commission makes five findings and six recommendations with regard to establishing spending priorities, defining instructional and non-instructional purposes, and improving school districts reporting on their use of lottery funds.
  • Inadequate Financial Accountability in California's Community College System
    (Report #69, February 1986)

    Case studies of four college districts (Los Angeles, Peralta, Lassen and Chaffey) that were operating at a deficit are examined to determine the adequacy of financial accountability in California's Community College System. This report contains nine findings and 12 recommendations. Foremost among the recommendations, the Commission urges the Governor and the Legislature to enhance the authority of the Board of Governors and the State Chancellor's Office to ensure fiscal accountability, and to develop and implement a management information system within the Chancellor's Office.
  • A Review of Impact Fees Used to Finance School Facilities
    (Report #67, December 1985)
  • Califoria's K-12 Education Funding Report
    (Report #54, June 1983)
  • Report on the Role of the State Department of Education in California's K-12 Public Education System
    (Report #48, June 1982)
  • Report on the San Juan Unified School District
    (Report #47, January 1982)
  • A Report on the Los Angeles Unified School District
    (Report #45, June 1981)
  • Additional Funding for the Los Angeles Unified School District
    (Report #44, November 1980)
  • Study of the Utilization of Public School Facilities (K through 12)
    (Report #33, July 1978)
  • A Study of the School Building Aid Program
    (Report #20, June 1973)