You want politics? California has politics and Proposition 1B is this year’s winner for most blatant bought and sold measure of the election. The inclusion of this initiative was an attempt to appease the California Teachers Association who have been threatening legal action over educational funding. The hook was tying this to Proposition 1A; if voters reject 1A, which they likely will, 1B cannot take effect even if it passes. If you were wondering why the CTA is advocating the entire budgeting package being voted on, this is your answer.
The short version is that the voter approved Proposition 98 guarantees school funding except for particular circumstances, such as nearing bankruptcy. As revenues have declined sharply over the last year or two the funding for schools suffered and there’s legal ambiguities as how this matter should be resolved. The placing of Prop 1B was a pacifying measure that would pay schools back the lost budget which has the side-effect of also raising minimum funding guarantees in the future. So if the state is broke in two years time there would be no legal ambiguities– the money would have to be produced.
I’m all for education and frankly my experience with the public school system here suggests they could do with the money. However laying a blanket over a fire isn’t a way to put the fire out, it just sends the blanket up in flames.
Image from Fight Crime.org, taken by Duncan McIntosh. Stolen from fight crime, ha!