Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Me and the public teachers' unions

When I read the Foothill Cities Blog post (from Centinel) opposing Proposition 92, I realized that I was joining some strange bedfellows:

[T]his may be [the only] time you’ll ever see the California Teachers Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of California, the California Professional Firefighters, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the President of Cal Poly Pomona, and Centinel agree on something: Vote no on Prop. 92.

Proposition 92 is the community college one, which, among other things, sets community college fees at $15/unit/semester. As I previously noted, I voted against it.

The California Teachers Association opposes Proposition 92 and links to this statement:

Proposition 92 locks in huge new state spending with no way to pay for it.

Frankly, I don't recall that budget deficits were ever a huge concern to the CTA leadership. The big concern is outlays, and potential decreases in same:

Proposition 92 will further threaten California’s ability to address the state’s other pressing needs, like funding K-12 schools, state universities, health care and public safety.

Of course, if a proposition encouraged funding to CTA members, at the expense of health care and public safety, CTA would be all for it.

For the record, I didn't agree with CTA on the other two propositions on which they took positions. CTA was against Proposition 91 (transportation) and for Proposition 93 (term extensions for incumbents) - presumably for the same reasons that they opposed 92.

The California Teachers Association did not take a stance on the gaming propositions (94 through 97), but the California Federation of Teachers did.

Interestingly enough, the California Federation of Teachers strongly supported Proposition 92. Speak Out California explains:

Sponsored primarily by those who have a specific interest in the community college system, the initiative is designed to protect against the loss of funding for the community colleges during difficult budget times by creating a separate funding mechanism from the one that currently exists. Presently, community colleges are included in the K-14 funding minimums of Prop 98. They want their own separate funding calculation.

Those opposed, primarily those whose interests are in preserving K-12 funding, say this measure would further tie the hands of the state by taking away needed flexibility to move funds in times of serious budget shortfalls. This measure pits teachers against each other with the California Federation of Teachers in support and the California Teachers Association opposed.

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