In the lean years after World War II, when 1 out of 4 people in the state lived in poverty, California made a shrewd decision.
Building world-class public schools and strong infrastructure was the way to invest in people across the state. And it worked: By 1960, Californians had a 25 percent advantage in income and education compared with the rest of the country. Indeed, a 1962 Newsweek cover proclaimed: “No. 1 State: Booming, Beautiful California.”This article was originally published in San Francisco Chronicle.