Saturday, September 24, 2005

California's Secretary of Education, Bersin, supports Prop. 76

Just got my CA voter information guide (you have to download the pdf)for November 8th's special election. I don't know about your state but we get these humongo books printed in the smallest print with an analysis by the state's legislative analyst, followed by argument in favor, rebuttal to the arguments in favor, argument against the initiative, followed by a rebuttal to the argument against the initiative. Always enough to make my eyes cross but this year, yay, I'm a bit more versed.

Very quickly, Prop. 76 is CA's state spending cap with lots of extras. With regards to public education, not only is it capping spending, we're talking a huge amount of money per pupil which will be lost permanently, $600, in a state where school funding is lower than many states.

Prop. 76 will overturn the minimum school funding protection voted in by Prop. 98 in 1988. Even more chilling is how Prop. 76 will give even more power to the Governor to cut the budget (remember he has line-item veto powers already) without oversight.

And so yesterday, I turned to the "rebuttal argument against Prop 76" (p. 31 to all of you who has a voter information guide) and see our Secretary of Education, Alan Bersin, listed as a writer for the rebuttal against 76, along with the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and a UCLA econ guy (with ties to Brookings and received grant money from the Bradley Foundation). Take home point: Bersin supports Prop. 76, the one which will really hurt our public education system.

Bersin is a Democrat but he came to Sacramento trailing huge clouds of controversy after he beat up the school system in San Diego as superintendent. I've previously written DLC seems to love him, which says a lot about why a Democrat would be out there supporting the forces behind the Governor. And his appearance with the Governor recently in SD is even more telling where his allegiance lies. It's obviously not with the kids in public education.

From a SD paper:
Alan Bersin, the former superintendent of San Diego city schools, who now is serving as the state's education secretary, appeared at Friday's event and spoke in support of the ballot initiatives.

"It is our last clear chance and we have a hero – a real action hero – to lead us," Bersin said.