California must keep free education truly free

May 24, 2011

The California Constitution is unequivocal: "A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence" is essential to the "preservation of the rights and liberties of the people." Therefore, it says, the state shall provide a free education to its children.

That provision - Article IX - was enacted at the Constitutional Convention of 1878-79. Today, California has nearly 10,000 taxpayer-supported public schools serving just over 6 million students.