The Blog

Schools Chief Torlakson Joins Callers Urging Yes on Proposition 30

(Photo above) From right, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and a volunteer take a breather from making phone calls to voters Monday evening at the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) phone bank.

Both hit the phones to help secure votes for Proposition 30, the only measure on the November 6 ballot that will protect K-12 public education, the community colleges, and the state university systems against another $6 billion in devastating funding cuts.

(From l.) Supt. Torlakson was calling voters Monday evening along width many volunteers. Teacher Stacey Willet  of Luther Burbank and her son were among them.  Stacey is  SCTA’s most dedicated phone-banker. She has made more than 1,200 phone calls herself, Chapter leaders report.

(Photos by Seth Bramble)

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School Supporters Take to Phones, Streets, Airwaves for Prop. 30, Against Prop. 32

Photo above: CTA President Deal Vogel (c.) joins more than 60 educators at the Sacramento City Teachers Association making phones calls to voters to secure the passage of Proposition 30, the only measure on the ballot to stop $6 billion in trigger cuts to schools, and to defeat Proposition 32, the Special Exemptions Act that will increase the political power of wealthy special interests.

Photo left: Educator Carlos Rico tells a reporter for Channel 19, the Spanish language station in the Sacramento media market, why passing Proposition 30 is so vital for schools, students, and their families.

Throughout California on the last weekend before Election Day, thousands of dedicated educators are making phone calls, walking precincts, and giving media interviews – all urging voters to approve Proposition 30 and defeat Proposition 32.

For public education and its nearly one million students, the passage of Proposition 30 is crucial.  It will stop $6 billion in automatic or “trigger” cuts from taking effect.  Additional cuts of that magnitude will hit schools hard, schools that have already been slammed by more than $20 billion in cuts.

For middle class voters and working women and men, the defeat of Proposition 32 will ensure that their voices will be heard in the state Capitol and not be drowned out by the unfettered political contributions of wealthy special interests.

Wealthy special interests are hard at work, trying to defeat Proposition 30 and pass Proposition 32.  To counter potentially illegal activities, the state’s political watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), has gone to court in hopes of forcing one out-of-state Super PAC to reveal the sources of the $11 million it has given for Prop. 30 and against Prop.  32.

Polls are open from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 6.  Persons who have received vote-by-mail ballots are urged to consider dropping them off at polling places on Tuesday instead of putting them in the mail and risking that they do not arrive in time.

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Assm. Dickinson Urges Yes on Prop. 30, Only Nov. Measure to Block $6B in Trigger Cuts

Photo above: From l., During a Monday night panel discussion sponsored by USC’s Sol Price School of Public Affairs in Sacramento, Assembly Member Roger Dickinson details how the governor’s revenue plan, Prop. 30, is the only ballot measure that will prevent $6 billion in additional cuts to the already ravaged K-12 public schools, the community colleges, and the state’s university systems, as revenue opponent John Kabateck of the National Federation of Independent Businesses prepares to make his case against any new revenues.

Photo left:  Dan Schnur (standing),  the director of the Jesse Unruh Center for Politics at USC, poses questions to Assembly Member Dickinson and three other panelists Monday night in front of an audience of about 65 students, faculty, visitors, and reporters.

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Nonpartisan League of Women Voters Endorses Governor's Revenue Initiative

The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of California (LWVC) has joined the California Teachers Association and a host of other school supporters in endorsing Gov. Jerry Brown's revenue initiative on the November ballot.

If approved by voters, the governor's "The Schools and Public Safety Protection Act of 2012" will levy a 1% income tax hike on the state's wealthiest individuals and families and temporarily boost the state's sales tax by one-quarter of one percent.  The measure will raise $9 billion, including about $6 billion that will go to K-14 public education through provisions of Proposition 98, the constitutional funding protection for schools. The initiative will also provide an additional $250 million for the state's university systems.

“The League of Women Voters of California strongly supports the Schools and Public Safety Protection Act this November because it is the way to start to put California’s finances back on firm footing,” said LWVC President Jennifer A. Waggoner.

“The Governor’s initiative is the only measure on the November ballot that works widthin the framework of the state finance system and, therefore, will actually help eliminate the structural budget deficit. Important government services like health care depend on a balanced, adequate budget. Supporting the Governor’s initiative means protecting schools and local public safety so we can invest in a strong common future for California,”  Waggoner stated.

Click here for more about the League and its endorsement of the governor's initiative: League of Women Voters of California.

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Gearing Up for November: Defeating Special Exemptions Act, Passing Governor's Revenue Initiative

(Above) Flanked by Los Angeles Educator Mary Rose Ortega, Elementary Teacher Eric Heins speaks width other educators during a meeting in Los Angeles about the importance of defeating the Special Exemptions Act and passing the governor’s revenue initiative in the November general election.

(Below from l.) Educators Stan Smith and Judy Rhoda note key points about the Special Exemptions Act, which aims to give billionaire businessmen even more political power to write their own rules.

(Photos and story by Len Feldman)

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