Absurd Prop 2 provision shows extent of teacher unions’ clout

Absurd Prop 2 provision shows extent of teacher unions’ clout

cta.in.chargeIf you want an example of just how powerful the teachers unions are in Sacramento, consider Proposition 2. The measure was placed on the November ballot by the Legislature at the urging of Gov. Jerry Brown, who depicts it with about 70 percent persuasiveness as establishing the sort of rainy-day fund that California has always needed because of the state revenue rollercoaster.

The CTA and CFT would only accept this measure promoting fiscal responsibility and prudence if it included a provision making it more difficult for school districts to act in a fiscally responsible and prudent way! Here’s the LAO’s description:

If this proposition passes, a new state law would go into effect that sets a maximum amount of reserves that school districts could keep at the local level. … For most school districts, the maximum amount of local reserves under this new law would be between 3 percent and 10 percent of their annual budget, depending on their size. … Unlike the constitutional changes that would go into effect if Proposition 2 passes, this new law on local school district reserves could be changed in the future by the Legislature (without a vote of the people).

How hilarious. The CTA and CFT go along with state fiscal reform on the condition that local school districts be handcuffed on their own finances, freeing up more budget money for — you guessed it. Teacher compensation.

Last November, I outlined here how the Local Control Funding Formula “reform” ostensibly directing extra funds to struggling students got adopted so quickly. It was the cleanest possible way to pump up funding to the large urban districts with lots of English-learner students. UTLA didn’t embrace the LCFF because of social justice, blah blah blah. It was because of economic rewards. It’s now seeking to claim the bulk of the extra LCFF funds for a 17.6 percent raise for UTLA members.

The lesson of this scam:

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.  … The most-ballyhooed education reform in California since Gov. Pete Wilson’s classroom-size reduction program ended up just being an elaborate way for the governor and the Legislature to reward their masters and patrons in the CTA and the CFT.

The worse ‘fact check’ in the history of journalism

Meanwhile, over at the Sac Bee, I hope someone, anyone, is deeply embarrassed by the “fact check” that ran after the Kashkari-Brown debate on whether the governor is too close to teachers unions.

It mentions that Brown’s sponsoring charter schools while mayor of Oakland annoyed unions.

It doesn’t mention that the Brown-orchestrated adoption of Prop 30 and the LCFF steers many billions of dollars to teacher pay. Nor does it mention that the teachers’ system pension funding fix adopted this year is going to be paid for with 90 percent taxpayer funds and 10 percent teacher contributions — contrary to Brown’s 2011 view that public employees should split the cost of pensions equally with taxpayers, and far worse for taxpayers then pension funding fixes seen at the local level in California and in other state governments.

This is what’s known as “context” in the news business. It is insane to have an ostensibly serious “fact check” on the relationship between the governor and the teachers unions that doesn’t mention Brown’s three gigantic favors.

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