Rights and Liberties

LAO report: Dozens of school districts not honoring intent of state law

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

The state Legislative Analyst's Office released a report last week on how 50 California school districts were dealing with the requirements of the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula law. That's Gov. Jerry Brown's ballyhooed reform measure that is meant to devote more school resources to helping indi...

Brown may hint at Vergara plans with state education board picks

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown has been vague about whether he agrees with the incendiary premise of last June's decision in the Vergara case: that state teacher tenure and job protection laws are so likely to steer poor teachers to struggling mostly minority schools that they violate minority students' constitut...

Top lawyer for controller benefits from much-criticized state perk

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The state government's practice of letting workers defy official state policy and pile up unused vacation days and cash them in upon retirement has been criticized on and off for years. California government watchdogs and journalists have outlined the budget problems this causes and noted other stat...

Some crucial context on Brown’s new energy policy and AB 32

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to seek to extend the state of California's push against global warming to 2030 with a further embrace of costlier-but-cleaner energy got a positive response from many environmental groups and journalists. The idea that California would commit itself to getting half its e...

New category of CA employees tries to sandbag pension fixes

Monday, January 5th, 2015

When elected officials participate even very indirectly in a process that improves their compensation, the public goes wild. It's powerful attack-ad fodder for candidates seeking to unseat such politicians. But when powerful bureaucrats engage in such in a maneuver -- even in much more direct fas...

CHP’s probe of CalFire yielded leads — unlike DA’s probe of CHP

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The reports that suggest the California Highway Patrol did a solid job in handling the investigation of a prostitution scandal at CalFire's training acadmy in Ione have a rich subtext. CHP gathered enough strong evidence that 16 CalFire employees were suspended and placed on administrative leave....

Harsh impact of CalSTRS bailout begins to emerge

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The deal struck in spring 2014 to bail out the underfunded California State Teachers' Retirement System will lead school districts, the state and teachers to increase their annual contributions to CalSTRS from $5.9 billion in 2014 to at least $10.9 billion in fiscal 2020-21, with 70 percent of the e...

CA initiative reform: Lawmakers ignore the elephant in the room

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on initiative reforms that take effect today. After more than a century in California’s political spotlight, the state’s initiative process will be getting a major revise next year. Even more surprising, both Democrats and Republicans in the famou...

CARB draws sharp fire on AB 32 — from the left

Monday, December 29th, 2014

David Roberts -- a Grist.org journalist who has an easy command of energy issues that makes his NRDC-style environmentalism easier to take -- has written a sharp piece about AB 32. Roberts details what he calls an "avoidable mess" in the implementation of the law by the California Air Resources Boa...

CA public schools can’t charge students for parking

Sunday, December 28th, 2014
school parking

San Diego tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson is also a libertarian civic activist challenging government nuttiness and illegality. In a public Google Docs file, he explained how to fight a petty abuse of power used in some school districts to free up more funds for teacher compensation. Here's are ...