California’s 1.4 million-member public-sector unions are the key force that has pushed the state toward increasingly progressive policies. The Supreme Court could seriously diminish that force.
In the otherwise dark year of 2016, California doubled down on its faith in people and the future with major victories for labor, the environment and public education. Here are five ways the Golden State left the light on for the rest of the country.
Victorious Proposition 55 has extended a policy initially approved by Californians in 2012 to make up the recession-era budget cuts in the Golden State—cuts that devastated spending on education and health care. The 2012 measure, Proposition 30, established a personal income tax increase on household incomes of $250,000 and above.
Eduardo Vargas enrolled at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park during the fall of 2011 looking to help his financially troubled family, but then found he had to wrestle with a problem he had not foreseen: a crippled community college system.
On same the July day in 2009 when President Obama held a prime-time press conference on health-care reform, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted a video of himself showing off a hunting knife. The symbolism wasn’t hard to discern: Schwarzenegger was about to sign one of the most austere funding packages the state had ever seen.
Parents manage a huge pile of details to guide their children’s education. What, then, happens when a recession hits, state education funding is drastically cut, class sizes reduced, parents are called upon to replace library staff and you’re worried that the teacher who provided crucial support for your special needs student may be laid off?
In the spring of 2008, Underwood was an eager and popular young assistant band director at a high school in Moreno Valley, a suburban enclave in Riverside County, but the first clouds of what would soon be called the Great Recession were gathering in New York — and were clearly visible to Underwood.
Four years ago California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 30 and rescued public schools and community colleges from the Great Recession’s economic free-fall. But the measure is scheduled to expire at the end of 2018, which could again place the state’s still-wobbly public schools on the edge of a fiscal precipice.
This new series examines how a ballot measure rebuilt the state’s public education system — and what’s at stake in November.
Last week’s announcement of a settlement between the state of California and two political campaign organizations linked to the Koch brothers fittingly coincided with the centenary of the first scientific explorations of Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits. The history of the tar pits is pretty straightforward: For at least 38,000 years, thick, petroleum-based […]
It should serve as more than mere cold comfort that Charles and David Koch – the oil billionaires with a desire to remake America according to their own Dickensian vision of society – are about to be fined $1 million by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. Today’s Los Angeles Times reports that a pair of […]
The walking, talking, governing refutation of the notion that there are no second acts in American lives is on a roll in California. “I’ve never been more excited,” Gov. Jerry Brown says, “and this is my 11th year on the job.” Brown, 74, has ample reason for excitement. After a calamitous recession (inland California was […]
(The following post first appeared on Dog Park Media and is republished with permission. It describes events that occurred earlier today at a Regents meeting held at the University of California’s Mission Bay campus. A news update can be found here.) About 500 students are currently blockading entrances to the University of California Board of […]
Millions of dollars in new tax revenue earmarked for the University of California system as part of the state’s recently passed Proposition 30 will instead be routed to major financial firms, because of bad bets made by a Wall Street-influenced UC Board of Regents. Over the last decade, tuition and fees for undergraduates in the UC […]
A few weeks ago an agonized fundraising appeal went out from three right-wing millionaires on behalf of the so-called “Californians for Reforms and Jobs, Not Taxes” campaign against Proposition 30. Apparently business executives Floyd Kvamme, David Marquardt and Mark Stevens had learned that Prop 30, also known as the “Protect Schools and Local Public Safety […]