Here’s the latest: the results of a recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California clearly show that Californians do not want tax increases to balance the state’s budget. In response our leaders in Sacramento are threatening to punish “certain” districts—Republican districts—by focusing government cuts in those areas, presumably reducing government services.
But with 62% of voters opposing tax increases, it’s not just Republican districts that should be “punished!”
That same poll makes it clear that voters want education funding protected. This makes perfect sense to me. Voters have seen education funding “protected” through ballot initiatives like Prop 98, lotteries, categorical spending, legislators playing in education “reform” that isn’t reform at all, union touting “for-the-children” slogans while enabling contract provisions that keep the worst teachers and layoff the young and brightest, and reject online learning opportunities. Notwithstanding all these “protections,” legislators borrow and defer that funding to local districts in order to balance the state budget and fund other programs. Orange County alone has millions of dollars in deferred payments owed to them by Sacramento, and no plan for future repayment.
Voters, and specifically parents, aren’t fooled any more. Sacramento: get out of education command and control, do the real reform needed in CEQA, government pensions, business over-regulation, and return control and accountability to local officials.