I know you decided to go a different/easier route, but I'll comment on the original idea anyway (cause that's just how I roll).
To keep it simple I’d focus on the teacher aspect of education, I would end tenure to add competition, increase teacher pay to increase the appeal of teaching, and I would increase the number of teachers as well because here in California having 40+ kids in a classroom and growing is not good. The only thing is I can’t really think of where to take the funding from. California already spends upwards of 50% on K-14 education.
As Allegory mentioned, you seem to be tossing out ideas you've heard, or are popular, but not really asking if they would help anything. It's interesting that you talk about ending tenure to increase competition, but then also say you'd increase teacher pay. Is that across the board, or would you implement some kind of merit system? Also, how do you square the idea of increasing pay with also increasing the number of teachers? Shouldn't any sort of education reform address costs? And I don't think that simply raising more revenue in order to pay for a higher cost is the right solution. That's just masking the problem IMO.
I think the core problem with our education system is the lack of competition and accountability. Teachers are paid a union scale that is the same whether they are a "good" teacher or not. They just have to not be fired and they get the same pay as someone busting their ****. This is one of the core reasons really good qualified people tend to balk at entering the profession or leave within a few years after first starting. Those who are really good at it realize pretty quickly that their pay isn't based on their own capabilities, so they leave for jobs which do pay based on those things, leaving a combination of those who rely on the guaranteed wage rates to cover for their own incompetence and a scattering of those who are just so dedicated that they'll deal with the insane conditions anyway left behind to teach our children.
Of course, this requires greater institutionalized changes. You'd have to make schools accountable for performance somehow, so that the administrators would be forced to use "real" measurements of classroom performance to judge teachers by merit and thus judge wages and advancement within the profession. This is something that every other field manages to accomplish, but some insist just can't be done for teaching. I say that's BS. There's just so much power and money involved in keeping the status quo that it's nearly impossible to change anything.
Specifics get a little harder to nail down, but I believe that if education in a state were run more like a business and less like a bureaucracy, we'd see much better results and much lower costs. How you tie funding to performance can be done several ways, but nearly any method would be better than what we do right now. It would be interesting to tie funding to some function of economic success of graduates (or future academic success in the short term), and then distribute that out in some sort of vouchers to actually pay for the schools. This way, total funding is based on how successful the whole system is and individual funding would tend to go to those schools that are best performing within that context. At the end of the day, from a societal point of view, the purpose of paying for education with public funds is based on the assumption that the students thus educated will be more productive citizens. One can argue that if they aren't more productive by a dollar amount equal to or greater than what we spent educating them, then we are really wasting our time. So why not use some measure of that as a base starting point for the whole thing and then encourage competition within the system itself?
Just a couple ideas to toss around. I just think that the usual suspects of classroom size and tenure only scratch at the surface of the real problems.