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California Teachers Association celebrates passage of Prop. 30 and defeat of Prop. 32

By Theresa Harrington
Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 2:29 pm in Education.

Richmond rally

During the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election, members of the California Teachers Association relentlessly rallied on street corners in districts throughout the state to get out the vote in favor of Prop. 30 and against Prop. 32.

In Contra Costa County, teachers in the Mt. Diablo, San Ramon Valley and West Contra Costa school districts rallied on street corners in Concord, San Ramon, El Cerrito, Hercules, Richmond and other cities to bring their messages to voters.

“If Proposition 30 loses, West Contra Costa Unified School District will potentially cut 15 school days this year and lose an additional $10 million,” said Diane Brown, president of the United Teachers of Richmond union, after a rally in Richmond. “Our students, our community, our teachers and our district cannot continue to survive if we are cut to the bone.”

Teachers also opposed Prop. 32, which they said would unfairly limit their ability to lobby legislators about issues that would affect them.

When the election results came in, it looked like the tireless efforts of teachers had paid off. By early Wednesday morning, they were celebrating the success of Prop. 30 and the defeat of Prop. 32.

Here’s the news release I received from the CTA at 12:12 a.m. Wednesday:

“California students and working families won a clear victory today as voters clearly demonstrated their willingness to invest in our public schools and colleges and also rejected a deceptive ballot measure aimed at silencing educators, other workers and their unions.

‘Today’s vote signaled that Californians believe in the value of public education and investing in our students and schools,’ said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “They want to see funding restored to our schools and colleges. They want to stop the tuition hikes and class size increases. They want to see students have music, and art, and libraries and access to counselors and nurses. They want to see our schools flourish and our students succeed.’

Passage of Proposition 30 will stop $6 billion in midyear cuts to our schools and colleges. In addition, local communities will receive funding to keep police on the street and our state can begin to pay down the wall of debt it’s amassed over recent years.

According to President Vogel, the passage of Proposition 30 was a vote for tax fairness—ensuring that everyone is paying their fair share to build a better California—and the defeat of Proposition 32 was a vote for political fairness.

‘This hard-fought victory for democracy exposed the real agenda of the corporate special interests behind Proposition 32. Those millionaires and billionaires never cared about the checks and balances of our democracy, only the checks they could write to buy even more political influence in Sacramento and Washington,’ said Vogel.

For the third time in less than 15 years, California’s voters rejected similar ballot measures intentionally written to silence the voices of working men and women and their unions.

‘The voice of educators and other workers are stronger now from these victories. CTA members will continue to speak out and fight for our students, our public schools, our colleges and our profession.’

The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.”

More information about CTA’s Get Out The Vote efforts is at www.cta.org/Campaign2012.

Do you believe the teacher rallies on street corners swayed voters?

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  • Anon

    Public employee unions are the largest special interest groups in California, led by the CTA. Could the $78,000,000 spent on Prop 32 alone by these unions been spent any wiser, say to put teachers in the classroom or perhaps spent on the students.

    It would not have given them less representation, it would have taken the money to candidates (I’ll give you this donation to your campaign, if you give us this or vote this way for us)away.

    Really, $78,000,000 just spare change to the unions?

  • Doctor J

    @#1 That’s why they need mandatory payroll deductions ! :-)

  • Wait a Minute

    To answer your question Theresa,

    I believe that enough voters in CA cared enough about education and children to pass 32 and I’m sure teacher rallies and the TV advertising played a role in swaying undecided or uninformed voters.

    For Anon@1,
    Yes CTA put in alot of money, but so did the Koch Brothers and other right-wing, out of state rich people to oppose 30 and push 32.

    Keep in mind that much of their dirty money was laundered through other groups to disguise its origins!

    Don’t you think their money would have been better spent by putting it in the classroom?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s a message from the Pleasanton superintendent to the community about what passage of Prop. 30 means to the district: http://pleasanton.patch.com/articles/superintendent-s-message-on-proposition-30?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001

    So far, MDUSD Superintendent Steven Lawrence has not sent any update to the community about what the proposition’s passage will mean in his district.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @3 WAM — What, exactly, makes the “dirty” money “dirty”? As far as I am aware, the Koch brothers and those other horrid “rich people” got their money by selling products to people who thought those products were valuable enough to pay for them of their own free will. Is that money “dirtier” than, say, the taxpayer funds that go directly from our government into the bank accounts of the CTA, without even stopping in a teacher’s pocketbook — all so that the CTA can then lobby that same citizenry and government for even MORE money? Or is that money “dirtier” than the IOUs (now worthless) that Sacramento gave to schools to replace the constitutionally “guaranteed” funding that the Democratic-controlled legislature just decided to steal anyway?

    Wait a minute indeed. Before you start referring to money as “dirty”, you may want to look around at the cesspool that all of us are already sitting in.

  • Wait a Minute

    Jim,
    My comment was aimed at the fact that they have laundered the money through other groups in order to prevent us the citizens from knowing who was funding the anti 30, pro 32 campaigns.

    This is in sharp contrast to the CTA money which was openly disclosed.

  • g

    Thank you Jim! I can think of very little in this whole thing “dirtier” than the nearly unintelligible fine print in Prop 30 that negated all of those IOUs!

    Kiss goodbye all those billions of dollars we already paid in ‘school’ taxes, then voted Prop 98 again to guarantee our schools would finally get that money, and now 30 just completely undermined 98!

  • @ #3

    $11,000,000 from the Koch Bros. vs $78,000,000…you’re worried about the $11,000,000 only because it is from the “right wing”? Many donations for Prop 32 were from individuals, they can’t have a say in government like the unions? Why? Obvioulsy, the Public Employee Unions we very afraid of Prop 32, Why? They were going to still be able to collect through payroll deductions, just needed the employee’s approval each year to spend on their politics.

    Do you think the unions don’t help each other out in other states on their political issues. If you believe that, I have same land to sell you next to a swamp.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @8 — Why were the public unions deathly afraid of Prop 32? Because they know that their politicking with union dues is deeply unpopular with many members. So they don’t dare leave the decision up to individual workers. After mandatory withholding of public union dues ended in Wisconsin, membership in the state’s main AFSCME public union fell from 62,818 in March, 2011, to 28,745 in February of 2012 — a 54% decline in just a year! The teacher’s union there lost 6,000 of their 17,000 members — a drop of 35%.

    Imagine if the millions that CA taxpayers spend on union dues — so that unions can lobby us to raise their pay and benefits — could actually end up in the paychecks of our public workers? We might see less “dirty” business in Sacramento, that’s for sure!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s a messsage that was just sent out to MDEA members:

    “CONGRATULATIONS MDEA MEMBERS
    PROP 30 PASSED

    THERE WILL BE ZERO FURLOUGH DAYS THIS SCHOOL YEAR!!!!!

    Thank you to everyone who supported our collective bargaining agreement where we received a 3% bonus in 2011-12 and agreed to take up to 11 furlough days if the governor’s tax initiative failed to pass.

    We believed we could get Prop 30 passed and collectively working together we did get Prop 30 passed. We won, Our MDEA won, we all won together.

    Have a restful well earned 3 day weekend.

    MDEA Leadership”

  • Anon

    Funny, the election eve robo-call from Guy Moore told us to vote for Lawrence and Oaks, and nothing about Prop 30 . . .

  • Theresa Harrington
  • Doctor J

    Sacramento extends Supt contract — no raises, no health benefits. The Sac Supt “reorganized the district’s office. . . streamlining and eliminating many other administrative positions, which the district estimates saved $5 million.” “He also created Priority Schools, an initiative in which seven of the neediest schools in the district were given additional resources and protected from the effects of teacher turnover during layoffs . . . .which relied on skipping less-senior teachers during layoffs.”

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Steven Lawrence plays transportation chess for Special Education students.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/14/4983885/new-contract-for-sacramento-city.html#storylink=cpy

  • Doctor J

    “He has continued to do innovative things with fewer resources than when he got here,” trustee Patrick Kennedy said of Sac City School Supt. Jonathan Raymond.

    The same cannot be said of Steven Lawrence. Lawrence got a raise and Raymond did not. Lawrence gets health benefits and Raymond does not.

  • Wait a Minute

    Superintendent Raymond–leads by example.

    Stevie Lawrence–NOT!

  • Doctor J

    @WAM and he leads about 18,000 MORE students than Steven Lawrence has in MDUSD.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    It’s always interesting how, amid the pat excuses of “no money”, “hands are tied”, and “can’t do it that way”, there are always some who manage to achieve more for students.

    Imagine that! In Priority Schools, why not make students, rather than the adults, the “priority”? What a concept!

    Good job, Supt. Raymond!

  • Theresa Harrington

    I attended an Education Writers’ Assoc. conference where that same supt. was talking about the district’s commitment to implementing Common Core in a way that will benefit English language learners. At the same conference, the Long Beach supt. also had a “can do” attitude, saying the district was moving forward on its strategic plans without letting lack of money be an excuse to drag its feet.
    This reminded me of the MDUSD board retreat, where Supt. Lawrence complained about lack of state funding and Trustee Cheryl Hansen said she wanted to try to get things done instead of merely complaining about not having any money. The retreat facilitator then chastised Hansen, saying it’s important for district officials to lobby for more money.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @18 — Yes, Theresa, the dysfunctional culture runs deep (and wide) in MDUSD. It would take a more competent and attentive board (more than just Cheryl), a new Supe, a new general counsel, and significant personnel changes at the Dent Center to turn things around. Unfortunately, the stars rarely line up like that when a district is as far gone as MDUSD. That’s why it is important to give families choices to attend schools that are NOT run by this sadly impaired district.

  • Doctor J

    I wish there was a “like” button on #18 & 19 !

  • Doctor J

    As absentee and provisional ballots have been counted, Debra Mason is now just 233 votes short of bypassing Sherry Whitmarsh for “third place” — too bad the Ernie voters didn’t get the message. http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/CA/Contra_Costa/42275/112481/en/summary.html

  • Theresa Harrington

    I wonder how this compares to the election four years ago, when Whitmarsh ousted April Treece.

  • Anon

    Let’s encourage Mason to run again in 2 years, and encourage MDEA to endorse her next time.

  • g

    It wasn’t even close in 2008. The most interesting thing was that Whitmarsh got more votes than her benefactor and partner-in-crime Eberhart.

    Now, finally, they’re both gone! Two down!

  • Doctor J

    A much higher voter turn out in 2008: http://www.cocovote.us/ERSummary.aspx?eid=4

  • Sue Berg

    Theresa, #22: If you’re comparing election results, also compare campaign funding. As I recall, you reported that MDEA spent about four times more to promote the Eberhart-Whitmarsh slate in 2008 than Treece and Adams, the other two candidates, were able to raise through grassroots (non-union) support. Do you have the campaign funding totals for 2008 and 2012, the last two times MDEA endorsed candidates?

  • Doctor J
  • Doctor J

    @SB#26 Remember the 2008 Election had massive Democratic party turnouts for Obama not seen before nor since. Like you, I am curious as to the campaign funding of the MDUSD candidates which has largely gone unreported since the campaign funding statements were not being posted on the cocovote website and required someone to actually go there to view them.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s an interesting question posed to School Services of CA by an unnamed district that wants to impose furlough days despite the passage of Prop. 30:

    “Ask SSC . . . Should Furlough Days be Restored?

    Q. With the help and advice of School Services of California, Inc., our district negotiated contingency language that would have provided 15 furlough days this year if Proposition 30 failed. But even the passage of Proposition 30 leaves us with deficit spending and a need to continue to make budget cuts. We would like to restore only part of the furlough days and keep some to help with our ongoing budget problems. Do you have any advice?

    A. Our advice is short and to the point: keep up your end of the deal and restore all of the days. Your unit probably had a difficult time in offering these concessions and getting them ratified by unit members. If there is the slightest reluctance on your part to keep the deal, you will never get another concession. And, just for the record, California’s budget problems are not over; better, but not solved.

    Once you restore all the days, start a new discussion regarding the ongoing deficit spending that you and most other districts continue to experience. A new discussion after restoration gives both parties the trust and confidence to make a new agreement that works for both parties.

    —Ron Bennett”

  • Doctor J

    @#29 Just what I was talking about.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s the latest M&O Newsletter, which shows relief about Prop. 30 but concerns about upcoming pension reforms: https://ique.blob.core.windows.net/localone-web/content/whatsnew/Newsletters/MDUSD%20M&O%20%20Newsletter%20November%202012.pdf

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    Maybe now is a good time to remind MDUSD residents of how our students stack up in academic achievement viz other advanced countries:

    http://globalreportcard.org/map.html#bottom-results

    (If the link doesn’t work, go to globalreportcard.org > “View District Map” > Calif. > Contra Costa > MDUSD > “View More Results”.)

    True, the data is from 2007, but you can use the slider on that page to see rankings back to 2004. They were going down EVERY year through 2007, so I doubt that recent budget troubles have improved the picture.

    Forget national and CA comparisons. Compared with students in the other developed nations that we compete with, our local students rank in the 29th percentile in math and the 43rd percentile in reading.

    If this big ongoing recession becomes “the new normal” these data may have something to do with it.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s another look at how the US stacks up against other countries: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20498356#TWEET395882

  • Doctor J

    Here is why only 4 of 17 California Districts are in the final round for the Race to the Top federal funds — clearly their local CTA bargaining units were enlightened and weren’t bound by the disasterous political restrictions of CTA. http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/four-ca-districts-make-race-to-the-top-finals/23353#.ULSHGod9IVR

  • Doctor J

    Barnidge compares the fiscal prudency of Antioch USD with MDUSD’s spend like a drunken sailor then slash and burn financial policy. Another chapter in “A tale of two school districts”. http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_22068445/barnidge-salary-hikes-antioch-teachers-are-tough-sell

  • Theresa Harrington

    SunPower is promoting MDUSD as a “case study” in solar savings: http://bit.ly/SbV1Ij

  • Doctor J

    What is the projected property tax costs over 40 years for the district to save $220 million over 30 years ? Wait — the panels only have a lifespan of 20 years — how can the savings be projected over 30 years ? Someone should file a complaint for false advertising against SunPower.

  • Wait a Minute

    I would like to know what the total costs in materials and labor including design fees that we were charged for this solar. Does anyone know the correct figure?

  • Doctor J

    Got to add in Pete Pedersen’s “in house” costs too.

  • Doctor J

    The “fiscal cliff” will impact local school districts too — the Steven Lawrence talk of “no furlough days” appears to be premature. Sequestration cuts in Federal programs would negatively impact MDUSD budget and schools. If Congress and the President fail to reach a compromise, Jan 2 could bring significant cuts despite passage of Prop 30. “Sequestration is a plan to cut about $1.2 trillion from the federal budget in an even split across the board among education, national defense and Social Security, according to the National School Board Association. Sequestration would impact public education by cutting funds 8.2 percent or more and could result in larger class sizes, fewer course offerings, cutbacks in extracurricular student activities, teacher and staff layoffs, less access to intervention programs and the loss of instructional time, according to the Sacramento County Office of Education.” http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_938161aa-516d-5f0e-bffe-3d10dee2067a.html#user-comment-area

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s some good news for schools: Sacramento won’t defer payments as long as originally anticipated, thanks to passage of Prop. 30: http://www.contracostatimes.com/twitter/ci_22102413/sacramento-will-be-less-late-paying-schools-colleges