Tag Archives: California Federation of Teachers

CFT Sues Arnold For Education Funding Under Prop. 98

At last count, the California Teachers Association has dumped $10 million dollars or so into a FAIL whale of a special election, so they could secure their out-of-court settlement for $9.3 billion dollars in education money.  It’s important to understand what that money at stake in Prop. 1B represents.  It’s OWED to the schools.  Not a gift, not a reward for good behavior, but owed.  Under Prop. 98, the state must provide a minimum level of baseline funding to education, based on an algorithm that can be calculated in a number of ways.  This Governor has consistently tried to under-calculate Prop. 98, and most recently, his Administration determined it in such a way that shortchanged the schools by $9.3 billion dollars.  The education community could have demanded payment under statutory law, but instead the CTA decided to enter into what ultimately appears to be a failed bargain, whereby schools would receive money down the road from Prop. 1B if Prop. 1A, the funding mechanism for those payments, passed.  The California Federation of Teachers, which unlike CTA has opposed Prop. 1A, yesterday did what would have been much cheaper for CTA to do, which is sue the state for the money owed the schools.

“Proposition 1B is going to fail, and besides that, we still have to worry about funding for 2009-10,” said Marty Hittelman, CFT president. “We need to do this right away so we can take care of 2009-10, since they’re already debating that. We want to make sure they understand they have to repay us.”

After revenues sharply declined, the state cut 2008-09 school funding by $7.9 billion, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger believed the state did not legally owe that money back to education. School groups disagreed and threatened to sue the state before Schwarzenegger and lawmakers put Propositions 1A and 1B on the ballot to repay that money, plus another $1.3 billion owed from 2007-08.

CFT also wants the courts to resolve for good whether the state owes schools money in similar budget situations in the future.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has simply been untrustworthy when it comes to education, and has repeatedly broken the law when it comes to funding.  You don’t bargain with that, you fight it.  Eventually, CFT and SEIU Local 99, also on the lawsuit, will win in court.  And by the way, they’ll end up getting the money faster than under Prop. 1B, which doesn’t pay out until 2011-12.  Not to mention that Prop. 1B is, you know, losing.

SEIU, Other Top Unions Oppose Prop. 1A

I touched on this in Quick Hits, but Kevin Yamamura has now followed up.  The SEIU state council, representing 700,000 workers in the state, has teamed with two other unions to oppose Prop. 1A.

Service Employees International Union’s California State Council, which says it represents 700,000 workers, has teamed up with the California Faculty Association and the California Federation of Teachers to form a committee opposing Proposition 1A. The ballot measure would limit state spending in good fiscal years, diverting money to a “rainy-day fund.” But it also would extend $16 billion worth of temporary tax increases on sales, income and vehicles to 2013.

“Prop 1A won’t be able to do what its supporters claim,” said Marty Hittleman, president of the California Federation of Teachers, in a statement. “This constitutional amendment, supported by the governor and legislators was developed with no public scrutiny and won’t stop the budget chaos. Once voters read this proposal with their own eyes, they will see that it is flawed and overly complicated, and will give extraordinary new and unrestricted power to the governor and his political appointees, with no checks and balances.”

The response from Budget Reform Now, the Governor’s ad hoc group supporting the measures, is unintentionally hilarious, because it frames once again with the same tired doomsaying rhetoric:

“This is disappointing since those who we hurt the most should Propositions 1A thru 1F not pass will be teachers, schools and the hard-working families of SEIU,” said Julie Soderlund, spokeswoman for Budget Reform Now, proponents of the six budget-related ballot measures. “During these tough economic times, it is unfair to do anything that will likely cost many people their jobs.”

Way to advocate for your position, guys.

…Meanwhile, Arnold can’t leave his house to advocate for the ballot measures because everybody hates him.  Boy, Misters Brown, Newsom, and Villaraigosa, you’ve all really hitched your wagon to a star.  Way to go.