From somebody that actually lives in California, and has lived here for several decades:
The problem with both Props – especially 76 – is that they open things up for a lot of abuse from Sacramento. The Governor’s agenda is clear: to cut Education costs as much as possible, not by actually making the system more efficient, but by getting rid of older, better paid, teachers, and reducing the state’s investment in public schools and community colleges in general.
He tries to spin Prop 74 as to being a way to fire bad teachers more easily; What it will do in fact is allow for more experienced teachers to be easily fired and replace them with cheaper, less experienced people. It is already easy to fire bad teachers, it is complicated to fire teachers that have a GOOD track record.
If it gets passed, as it becomes evident that the objective is to fire the more expensive people (not the worst ones), nobody will see teaching as an actual lifetime career and people will only go into teaching if they have no other choice, and only for a limited period of time. What kind of teachers do you think that’ll create?
If that’s ambiguous, Prop 76 is not: that is unambiguously bad; California public schools and community colleges are already struggling, and the budget cuts that already happened did not improve efficiency; on the contrary, they caused some very good public schools to close, student-to-teacher ratios to skyrocket, and more and more people to move to the less affected school districts, driving house costs in those regions to unprecedented levels – a friend of mine just spent $1M in a 2500 sq ft “house” in one of the “good” school districts. It is clearly not working, why make a bad, non-working policy the norm? Yes, budget constraint is essential, but education is the last place where you should be looking at cutting, especially in a world of global competetion – and trust me, neither China nor India are skimping on investing in education, for example; in fact, the US is the ONLY country in the world that is reducing average Government investment in Education (in both absolute and % of GDP terms).
I hope this helps in your decision…
Everyone, please don’t listen to hspder’s political rants and vote yes on 74 through 77. They are all common sense initiatives that are not partisan in the least. 76 simply allows bad teachers to not get permanent tenure in a very short period of time (2 years). It’s actually very difficult to fire any tenured teacher. It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of people hours to fire a teacher in California. So hspder’s rant on this prop is just bullshit. Don’t listen to it.
As for prop 76, another common sense initiative to force our “spend happy” legislature to actually stick to a budget. By the way, the California budget increased from $75 billion in 1998 to over $108 billion in 2004 (a 44% increase) even though California is not taking in enough revenue to cover the budget. Do you all know what’s going to happen if this prop doesn’t pass? Taxes will be raised.
Do you know that $50 billion out of the $108 billion of California’s 2005 budget goes to education spending? Almost half of our entire budget goes to education! $50 billion! We rank 23rd out of 50 states on per pupil spending. And you know how we raise the quality of our education in this state? Not by throwing more money at the problem to fund hspder’s retirement (I’m sure he’s employed in the California education system in one form or another), it’s to cut the multiple layers of bureaucracy that gets in the way of spending money on actually improving education instead of lining bureaucrat’s pockets. Right now, our education spending is on autopilot to automatically increase every year whether California has enough revenue to pay for the budget or not! Prop 76 will fix this issue!
This is a cricital election for California. It’s time the people speak up and say we’ve had enough of our legislature and the unions that control them to stop spending money like it grows on a tree.
Also vote yes on 75. Proposition 75, also known as ?Paycheck Protection,? gives workers like police officers, firefighters and teachers the right to choose whether or not union dues money from their paychecks should be used for political purposes. It simply requires public labor unions to get consent from employees before deducting money from their paychecks for political purposes. That’s why you see dozens of commercials funded by unions trying to defeat Arnold’s agenda because it cuts into their power. Research the issues people, and don’t believe everything you see on tv.
Lastly, vote yes on 77. It is a blatant conflict of interest to have politicians draw the boundaries of the districts in which they run. Proposition 77 will allow independent judges to draw election districts instead of the politicians and allow voters to approve or reject those districts.
The redistricting process in California is controlled entirely by entrenched politicians. Incumbent members of both political parties meet behind closed doors and agree to carve up the state into very safe districts that virtually assure the same party will always win in that district.
Of the 153 congressional and state legislative races in November 2004, not a single seat changed parties. When there is no competition between the political parties, the public loses because legislators, who don?t have to compete for votes, don?t have to stay accountable to the people.
Under our current gerrymandered legislative maps, districts are drawn in every conceivable shape in order to maximize partisan advantage for incumbents. The 23rd Congressional District is very narrow and stretches hundreds of miles down the California coast to take in coastal Democrats and leave out Republicans. The Sacramento Bee wrote that the district ?is so narrow in spots that a big tide could submerge it.? (2/20/05) According to the Wall Street Journal, the 23rd district has earned the nickname the ?ribbon of shame.? (3/11/05)
One vote should mean one voice. Redistricting isn?t about Democrats versus Republicans; it is about making sure we have fair elections.