To fix California's problems, an investor suggests breaking it up

Draper says that his idea to split up California germinated over the course of a decade or two. As a child, he attended a public school in Menlo Park. Later, he sent two of his four kids there, but he says it soon became apparent to him that the state’s education system had deteriorated since he was in it. “The school had walls that were barren, and the teachers were the same teachers I had—there was no new refreshing schooling there,” he told me. He pulled his kids out and sent them to a private school. He served a short stint on the California State Board of Education in the late nineties, which, he said, revealed to him that the state capital was out of touch with its constituents.

California does have problems. It ranks low in per-student education spending. Courts have ordered the state to reduce overcrowding in its prisons. Its unemployment rate is among the worst in the country. Some in the rural, agricultural north and east say that their values and needs are ignored by politicians from the urbanized, coastal regions.

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