Liberal California, home state of the leftist elite, has lowest literacy rate in nation

California is supposed to be a liberal paradise — the kind of state that Vice President Kamala Harris or Gov. Gavin Newsom hold up as an example of why high-tax, big-government policies work. 

So, why is it the least literate state in the nation?

According to California’s Capitol Weekly, studies show only 77 percent of people over 15 in the state have the reading skills to be considered mid- or highly literate.

This stands in stark contrast to New Hampshire, the most literate state, where only 5 percent of people are illiterate, with a 95 percent literacy rate.

And, believe it or not, this doesn’t shock people who have been studying the matter.

It doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Niu Gao, a senior fellow who focuses on education issues at the Public Policy Institute of California.

“California in general does not do very well, and you can see this throughout the entire education pipeline.”

So what’s the answer? More spending, of course.

“We really haven’t been investing” in the system for decades, Gao said.

“We’ve been underspending the entire time.”

The data doesn’t support that, however. Utah spends the least per student, $7,628. Its literacy rate is 91 percent, however, 18 percentage points better than California, which spends $12,498 per student.

New York spends the most — $24,040 per student — yet remains the second-worst state in literacy, with only 78 percent of its people able to read.

Any other reasons? Capitol Weekly’s Will Shuck came up with a few.

“The state has the most diverse population in the country, more than 200 languages are spoken here. California also has the biggest wealth chasm,” Shuck said.

“And programs to teach English to children whose parents speak another language at home have shown little success. Only 10 percent of students in English acquisition programs display grade-level proficiency. That’s a significant problem in a state with 1 million English learners among a student population of about 6 million.”

The “wealth chasm,” it’s worth noting, has something to do with the outflow of people from the state; those who can afford to leave but who can’t afford the tax and high cost of living in California have moved to states like Arizona, Florida and Texas in recent years, leaving the Silicon Valley elite and poorer residents who can’t just pick up and leave.

There were other areas Capitol Weekly floated to deal with the literacy problem — more libraries, more teacher-librarians (defined as “credentialed teachers with a library sciences degree”) and more spending.

However, California doesn’t lack for spending. What it lacks for is what it won’t get: a reality check on how far liberal dogma can go.