by Chris Reed | August 4, 2014 8:00 am
What is by far the single most important factor in how California government functions? I stand by my theory that I wrote up last year for Cal Watchdog:
Like Neo figuring out how life was coded to work in “The Matrix,” everything about California politics is much easier to understand once you realize that by far the top priority of by far the state’s most powerful group is protecting the interests of veteran teachers.
And what is their biggest headache?
The fact that in recent years, budget woes have prevented hundreds of thousands of teachers from getting pay raises except for the “step” raises most get for 15 of their first 20 years and the “column” raises they get for taking meaningless graduate coursework that doesn’t even have to be in the field they teach.
This is why school districts in recent years have been paying for routine maintenance with 30-year borrowing; why parents are being illegally pressured to pay for basic supplies; and why the CTA and the CFT went along with a change in school funding formulas that Gov. Jerry Brown says is about getting more money to struggling students but that unions believe can be manipulated to get more unfettered money to operating budgets to pay for pay raises.
So now comes a concerted push led by Attorney General Kamala Harris to crack down on student truancy and absences, and it’s billed as being about helping students succeed in school.
California is in the midst of a “truancy crisis” that needs to be stopped where it starts: in elementary school, state Attorney General Kamala Harris said Monday as she joined lawmakers to announce a package of bills to help the state better collect truancy data. …
If it’s not stopped at the elementary level, students are more likely to drop out of high school, and dropouts are more likely to end up in prison, Harris said. …
The bills would require the attorney general to issue a report on truancy each year, enhance truancy data collection to monitor attendance, require every county to create School Attendance Review Boards that issue reports on intervention efforts and require prosecutors to issue a report when charges against a parent or student are considered to enforce attendance laws.
But if you go down further in the story, the real motive pops up:
Harris’ office released a report that detailed the extent of truancy and absenteeism in California schools and the resulting loss of $1.4 billion a year in funding …
In other words, $1.4 billion a year that could go toward teacher compensation.
Of course student truancy and absenteeism is a serious problem. But if it’s a dire threat to California’s future, why hasn’t it been targeted this way before? Because the teacher compensation status quo wasn’t that bad.
Now, after a few relatively lean years, the CTA and CFT want every last dollar they can get their hands on. If basic funding formulas depend on students getting to school on time, then dammit, school on time.
How do you do that? By raising thea prospect of criminal sanctions against parents if their kids are late or absent.
More evidence for the California Matrix Theory .
Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2014/08/04/behind-push-against-truancyabsenteeism-unions-money-hunt/
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