T Nation

California Statewide Election



Has anyone turned in their absentee ballot votes or decided on each of the propositions 73-80 yet?

I'm especially curious about prop. 74 and 76 concerning public school teachers. For those who aren't in CA, I'll give a brief overview.

Prop. 74- Increasing probationary period for public school teachers from two to five years and school districts could dismiss permanent teachers who received two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations using a modified dismissal process.

Prop. 76- Limits state spending to prior year's level plus three previous years' average revenue growth. Changes minimum school funding requirements. The Governor would be granted new authority to unilaterally reduce state spending during certain fiscal situations. School and community college spending would be more subject to annual budget decisions and less affected by a constitutional funding guarantee.

Are these two intiatives good for the school system and teachers in general?
Thanks anyone for any explanations. I'm not good with politics but realize my vote does count.


Prop 74 seems appropriate. What is the harm in extending teachers probationary period? They are entrusted with our children and by extending their period of probation we get a better chance to assess exactly how good (or bad) they are doing.

I also like the idea of being able to dismiss a teacher when he or she turns in an unsatisfactory performance. Again, we are talking about our children and why settle for less than the bes that we can get.

I'm also pro prop 76. We spend to much. When does a budget ever get decreased witout measures such as this? It doesn't. It's time that the taxpayers get a break.



Do you live in CA?

If not then drop the 'we'.


Seems reasonable to me. It's a good idea to go directly to the people for this question. Fighting the teachers union is usally political suicide for a conservative or moderate candidate.


After the 5 years, do public school teachers get some kind of tenure in CA?

Texas is a right-to-work state, so we are on a year to year contract our entire career.


First, appreciate all replys and maybe more will chime in.

A Yes on Prop. 74 changes tenure eligibility from 2 to 5 years. according to the voter info. guide.

There are also Propositions 78 and 79 concerning discounts on prescription drugs which have caused the nurses union stirring. From television, there's talk about our governor pulling his ad campaign and replacing his ads with regular people due to his popularity dipping. Too difficult for me to decide when others say that the governor has had a positive effect on California.

I'll probably need to read more info. Political science is difficult when one isn't quite sure whether each argument is both sound and valid on the pros and cons given by advocate groups.


Ha ha..didn't like my answer huh? "We" is used as in the "collective" sense.

I hope "we" understand each other better now.


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...


78 and 79 are mutually exclusive. 78 is supported by the drug companies and some shady lobbyists, while 79 is supported by most everyone else.


79 is cheaper, because it leverages existing infrascruture, but provides benefits for a much bigger % of the population. The reason drug companies don't like it is it has a much more agressive policy in terms of pitting the drug companies against each other in terms of discounts offered to be "in the program".

78 is actually much more expensive but it is great for the drug companies because it doesn't force them to compete at all.

To put it simply: 79 is basically a brilliant way to reduce the price of drugs for poor Californians with very little expense -- basically it leverages existing infrastructure and the benefits of having competition between drug companies; 78, on the other hand, is a way to have the CA State sponsor the drug companies' bottom line...

Of course, the cheapest option is to say no to both props, however I do believe 79 is worth the cost.


I tried to get my customers to give me a blank check and not have the ability to get rid of my company after two years, regardless of the quality of work we performed. I even pointed out that other countries are increasing their spending on vendors to stay competitive. I also told them that if they didn't agree with me, because I know what's best for their money, then only lower quality vendors would be want to do work for them.

Suprisingly they didn't agree with my argument. We still need to do a better job, at a price that is equal or better then the competition.(voucher) They just don't understand what's good for them I guess.

Arnold must be driving the Californians nuts with common sense.


Wow, all above opinions are indeed helpful. Arnold S. is an astute man. Some individuals learn from books while others educate themselves mainly from speaking with knowledgeable people. His ability to hone in on people is incredible. Apparently, there are different kinds of intelligence ranging from emotional, physical,intellectual, and streets smarts.

The dynamics of Sacramento legislature and the governor has been indeed interesting to watch and learn about government for the people and by the people.


Here's a good link to some basic info on the various Propositions -- I always like to see who is contributing money for and against...



You can already fire bad teachers. It's actually pretty easy. Thousands of bad teachers get fired every year in California. What the Governor wants is to make it ridiculously easy to fire the good ones too, if somebody thinks they're making too much money.

This is about money: it is not about quality.

I'm very tired of seeing Schwarzenegger and the right in general saying, on one hand, that we need to let entrepreneurs have the motivation of getting rich so they'll take the "big risks", but then say they expect quality people to want to do hard work for pennies and without any promising career or respect. If entrepreneurs need an incentive, doesn't everybody else need one too? Do you really think that if the propositions pass, anyone will want to be a teacher? Why bother? Why on Earth would you want to go through the pain, frustration and suffering of dealing with today's kids AND their parents, with no real career, respect, job security or even a decent salary to aspire to? If you don't expect entrepreneurs to take risks just because they want to contribute to society, why would you expect an army of teachers with nothing but the kids' interests in mind to suddenly materialize?

And don't even think about comparing this to Texas: indexed to the cost of living Texas pays teachers a LOT more than California does.

So, hedo, just stop trying to convince everybody -- including yourself -- that you have any other interest in mind than your own. So just come out, be a Man and admit it... There's nothing wrong with that, right?



Coming from you I have to chuckle. I mean seriously you are an out an out phony and coward. Calling my manhood in question, by you, only proves the point. You don't measure up by any standard of comparison hspder. Try again.

In the past you have called people who have money criminals and called for their incarceration. You have claimed that psuedo intellecutuials should have control of the economy rather than stakeholders. I even remember you claiming you were a professor of history when you were trying to make a point about the French Revolution influencing the American revolution even though it happened approx. 16 years later.

Seriously I want value for my money. Teachers are suffering a backlash now because of the overindulgence of the taxpayer overthe years. It's due and it's about time. If you owned a business and were successful you would be whistling a different tune. Why so resentful of those that have built a business and become sucessful. Envy? Jealousy? Compensating for something else?

Be a man. You actually have to have balls to say that hspder. Kind of leaves you out.


Do teachers with 5 years experience make THAT much more than those with two? Enough that weeding out good teachers with 5 years experience could actually save THAT much money?

The difference here between a teacher with 2 years experience and one with 5 years comes out to $307/month. That seems like a really odd way to go about saving money.


That's the way big business & big Gov't operates,they've been doing it for years.



It doesn't make sense. More of an excuse then a reason.

The ones who aren't very good should be concerned about losing thier jobs. Perhaps clearing out the slackers would attract a better quality of teacher and allow new ones into the profession.


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.


I know you're not really in touch with reality, but I have to call that one out. Show me where I ever said such a thing (claimed I was a professor of history). Seriously. Show me -- post the URL to the thread where I made such a claim.


My goodness!

I am learning sooo much by seeing both sides. This election has definitely caught my attention .