"Pass or Pay" is truly our last hope of restoring quality education to California. In brief, it recognizes the obvious: public education has become a farce. It is populated by over-regulated, over-burdened teachers who are supposed to teach standardized courses to kids who don't care about education and whose parents do virtually nothing to show its importance. Students can and do repeat courses over and over. They sit in class because they have to, but do no homework, no class assignments and turn in blank exams. They are disruptive to those of their classmates who do want to learn -- all one or two of them in the classroom!
Here is what Pass or Pay does: It examines the record of those students who refuse to study enough to pass their course and it charges them the cost to retake it. If they (including parents) will not pay, it becomes a court matter very similar to truancy proceedings. It is expected that implementation of Pass or Pay could help the state of California recoup about a billion dollars per year -- which is about 4% of the current budget deficit. Money aside, the real goal of the idea is to involve parents in their children's education. If these young people are to become competent, contributing members of society, it is essential that their parents motivate them to study enough to succeed. Should the common sense wisdom of wanting one's children to succeed be insufficient to motivate them, then Pass or Pay will.
Some kids will require more instruction. These include English language learners, special education students and various others in special circumstances. Those students will be able to retake a course once without paying for it.