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Land of poor schools, premier prisons

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Parents who dream that their child might one day do time in a county jail will be excited to learn that Placer County started construction on a $98 million corrections facility (Journal, Dec. 3). As the largest public building project in Placer County history, I imagine that the accommodations will be quite lovely. For those who instead have their sights set on state prison for their offspring, the future also looks bright. California spends a generous $47,000 annually per inmate and ranks behind only four other states in the percent of its general fund appropriated for corrections. Unfortunately, for the millions of Californians who look to a properly funded public school education as a means to build a promising future for their children, the outlook is bleak. Even before several rounds of budget cuts, California ranked above only four other states in per student spending. I understand that the funding mechanisms for prisons and schools are separate and complex, but enough is enough. Do we really want to live in a state known for its premier prisons and failing schools? I encourage concerned citizens to contact our elected officials to demand that adequate funding be put in place to properly support K-12 programs. Linda Cramer, Meadow Vista