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PatsyT On January - 6 - 2010

Today In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, delivered his State of the State Address.

In this address you heard a story about his Pony, Pig, Dog Food & Teamwork.

He told us his $500 million jobs package that would lead to creating 100,000 jobs.

Of course the beleaguered budget was featured, (link to full text at the bottom of page)

We face a $19.9 billion deficit — $6.6 billion for the rest of this budget year and $13.3 billion for the upcoming budget year.  Big picture, let me tell you what will be required.  First, as bitter as the words are in my mouth, we face additional cuts.

Then Governor Schwarzenegger livened up the room with his promise to protect Education.

But I am drawing this line. Because our future economic well-being is so dependent upon education, I will protect education funding in this budget.  And we can no longer afford to cut higher education either.  The priorities have become out of whack over the years.  Thirty years ago 10 percent of the general fund went to higher education and 3 percent went to prisons.  Today almost 11 percent goes to prisons and only 7 1/2 percent goes to higher education. Spending 45 percent more on prisons than universities is no way to proceed into the future. What does it say about a state that focuses more on prison uniforms than caps and gowns?

Ooooo Goody!  The Govenator is saving Education! Yeah!

Certainly one could agree with his logic, but something pretty big is being left out.  He is saving a BROKEN education system.

Hmmm … he mentioned Thirty years ago.

What was happening in California, thirty years ago?  Box below from Time Mag.

Before Prop 13, in the 1950s and ’60s, California was a liberal showcase. Governors Earl Warren and Pat Brown responded to the population growth of the postwar boom with a massive program of public infrastructure — the nation’s finest public college system, the freeway system and the state aqueduct that carries water from the well-watered north to the parched south.


Growing up in the Midwest, California loomed large in our imagination as the land of opportunity and wonder.  On New Years Day, we would watch that Rose Bowl Parade in total awe, the flowers, the people in t-shirts and shorts, the sun was always shining and everything was so green. We had a family member in the Navy stationed in San Diego and the stories that came back made us all hungry for that California Sun.  The rumor in the 70’s was that you could go to College in California, almost for free, if you were a state resident.  California had the weather, the mountains, the beaches, the opportunity, the promise of a land of plenty.

What our Govenator is ‘saving’ is a already broken education system.  Wow.  He is basically telling us he will not take a system that is sick and kill it completely.

Time to celebrate, YIPEE, we get to keep out underfunded sick system!

The budget for education in CA has been cut, and cut again.  My family has been here ten years now and  with three kids in the system I have seen these schools up close and personal. Having done a lot of volunteer work in the schools you get to know the Teachers and  that makes it very hard when they get the pink slip, we both start crying about the future.  What a message to the children.  Teachers have been let go, not because they are not needed or that they are not doing a excellent job, but because of the budget.

It has happened all over the state.  In the UC system, once the epitome of excellence, classes are over crowed, top talent has been lured away by the Ivy Leagues, and often you can’t get the classes you need.  It is not uncommon to find Juniors or Seniors in Freshman Composition, because they could not get in during their freshmen year even though they need that composition class in Freshman year to set them up for the balance of their four years.  So all over, the classroom sizes increase and the quality goes down and California Schools sink to the bottom in the National Standings.   It makes it worse when you see how Education in the US is doing in the World Standings.

You don’t have to be an expert in policy to see that the Republican Minority has blocked progress in this state.  Thank you Republican Minority, you sure  know how to race to the bottom.


The Govenator told of a Pig, a Pony and Dog Food (ok that was a little funny) but teamwork?  Really?

Republican Minority, What is your plan anyway?  It seems you just exist to obstruct, even at the state levels.  Shouldn’t the Majority actually RULE?

Full text-


Categories: News & Politics

Written by PatsyT

Mary Poppins said, "Practically perfect in every way" Today, I say, "Practically progressive in every way"

25 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. Hopeington says:

    When CA had a special ballot vote for the budget about 6 months ago, we could have solved some of our problems, but only 17% of the voters showed up and nothing passed.
    CA is an excellent example of what the Repub minority can do, and as always, we should be aware that the country is headed down the same path if they can get their way.
    My oldest son went to Waldorf, he’s probably the most well adjusted of my 4 children and a business owner. The rest suffered through public school and all graduated except the one that had brain surgery at 16, he tried for his GED, but they wanted $150 to take the test so that didn’t happen.
    I worry about my grandkids, the 14 year old, in 8thgrade, is very intelligent, but is growing bored rapidly and there’s way too many to a classroom for the teachers to be able to “catch” all these kids.

    • choicelady says:

      Hi Hopeington -- last year’s ballot measures would have given the Guv even more power to make unilateral (read undemocratic) mid-year cuts. It’s obvious he has gone to the Dark Side of Grover Norquist government-is-the-enemy philosophy. He has wanted, and probably will do again, to cut all -- ALL -- social safety net programs and lard up the budget with debt so we have no choice but to throw people under the train. My organization recommended a NO vote on all of them because they might have extended the tiny tax increase for another year, but they would have compounded the structural problems into infinity.

      THIS year, God willing and the creek don’t rise, there will be moves to go back to democracy. A majority vote on budget and taxes, period. No supermajorities -- even Federalist Paper 58 railed against this over 200 years ago. It gives the minority double power, and that is the death of democracy. CA is the only state that has supermajority on both budget AND taxes (only Arkansas and Rhode Island do on budget -- CA has sooooo much in common with them) but will change civil rights issues in the Constitution with a simple majority.

      CA may or may not move ahead with real reform since the hold outs are those -- even progressives and liberals with money -- who think, “just so I got mine”. It’s the bane of our existence that CA is riddled with people for whom the only valuable part of society is themselves. The fear of taxes is an obsession. CA ranks about 18th in tax rates but is in the tope three for costs and is number 1 with people in dependence. Try to get a corporation to do the right thing and hire people -- and the Chamber of Commerce hollers “job killer” as if that made a whit of sense.

      I lived in CA during my 20s and 30s and left owing not one thin dime to anyone despite a BA and two MA degrees. I worked my way through grad school living decently on a teaching assistant’s income and paid all fees out of pocket. There is NO reason we cannot do the same now. We do lack the will, and the Governor’s “commitment” to higher ed probably begins and ends with this speech. He’s deeply hostile to our education system just as he is to anything he does not understand. I will believe it when I see it.

      This election -- voters need to vote indeed. There is a LOT riding on it. If the reform proposals hit the ballot, they need turn out. These are the things that really might restore us to sanity.

      I hope.

  2. abby4ever says:

    Patsyt: a really good article, but sad. How is that he keeps getting re-elected?

    • choicelady says:

      He’s termed out this year. He got re-elected because his opponent, whom I greatly admired, ran the single WORST campaign I’ve ever seen. Even I started doubting him! Rule for progressives -- keep your values. Don’t run your own campaign.

      There is a theory floating around out here that the function of any governor is to make the one before him look good. Schwarzenegger has kept those standards. Even Gray Davis now looks good. Weren’t sure it could happen, but it has. Way to go, Arnie.

  3. nellie says:

    In defense of the UC, Berkeley and UCLA are ranked as the top two public universities in the country.

    I read the state of the state in full this morning. Pretty discouraging. I still don’t see anywhere in Schwarzenegger’s vision any contribution from the most wealthy in our midst. Sacrifices are always made at the bottom.

    I love living in this state. I just wish we would learn how to govern ourselves.

    • PatsyT says:

      Also Nellie,
      I do not find fault with the UC’s but with their management and mostly this state that has been cutting their much needed and deserved funding.

      • nellie says:

        Chancellor Gene Block of UCLA posted this article to HP in December:

        So Much Is at Stake: The Future of UCLA

        I think the proposed constitutional amendment is very promising — if we can get it passed.

        Proposed constitutional amendment would guarantee funds for UC

        Even I have to give the Governator props for that common sense idea.

        We seem to live in an era where a small group of people is trying desperately to convince the rest of us that the only thing deserving of our respect is money. The only viable response to that, imho, is to vote the GOP out of office. Vote them all out. Unless they can show that the public good is back on their agenda.

    • PatsyT says:

      Yes, The UC system is prevailing amidst the budget shortfalls.
      My oldest daughter has friends at Berkeley that can’t get into some of the classes they need
      until next year, maybe. They love it but she tells me the trend this year is for the seniors from her high school to apply to privates out of state. The UC’s are looking for out of state because they can charge more. In years past the UC’s were always in the mix of the local high school seniors, this year, not so much.
      How can we keep this R minority from mucking things up?
      Dems in the Majority have got to toughen up.

  4. PatsyT says:

    I would be curious how other states are handling education
    It seems that at the heart of this is the desire of the
    CA repubs to bust up the Teachers union.

    For CA
    State Senate
    25 Dems
    14 Reps
    1 Vacancy

    State Assembly
    80 Dems
    28 Reps

  5. tb92 says:

    Hi, Patsy,
    I live just outside of Sacramento and have to say you’re right on every count. I worked as a sub in one of CA’s best school districts for a year before deciding that I couldn’t stand being there. The kids were sweet, but boring, and few of them had any love of learning at all. The teachers were overwhelmed and under-appreciated, and the parents mostly uninvolved. I’ve sacrificed a great deal to keep my kids in a Waldorf school, because I wasn’t willing to lose their bright spirits to the public schools. The system is broken in many ways. We need to step back and evaluate the entire thing with an eye for what works for children rather than what is cheap or teaches to a test. I’m just praying that when Obama is finished with health care and jobs, that education will be the next priority. Our kids deserve it, and our nation needs it.

    • choicelady says:

      Hi tb92 -- I live right IN Sacramento. Thanks for your analysis -- I do not have kids, and these days I’m glad of that, so hearing from you in really informative.

      As a former teacher, daughter of a lifelong teacher, I have to say I do not look to Obama for much beyond decent funding and some standards. My mother quit -- retired -- because of the parents. She taught in a suburban, upper middle class school where parents would come screaming in telling her not to load up little Johnny with homework and why did he need to learn arithmetic when he’d have a calculator? Why did he need to read books when a magazine would do? Except -- it did not. Kids got more and more disinterested, did not want to be challenged or really learn to think. It was about 15 years after I passed through the system where we all got excited about knowing things.

      Two points of entry into decent ed -- vastly better teacher training (NO one should major in education -- it must become a fifth year so each teacher has a concentration in a solid major) and vastly more committed parents.

      Without these two things, we’re doomed to mediocrity.

    • PatsyT says:

      tb9- You have been in the trenches, you know what I’m talking about.
      I have seen those detached parents they can be creepy.
      I found that my friends and I that put time into volunteering all seem to have children that were more involved in the learning process. Our kids found each other on the playground even if they were not in class together. They wound up in the gifted classes and
      are still friends today. The families & Kids that volunteer together, in this case, stay together.

  6. KQuark says:

    Excellent post PatsyT. I don’t believe a word he says about protecting education. The Governator is the perfect example of the image of strength versus real intestinal fortitude. He constantly blames Democrats for everything and takes responsibility for nothing himself.

    Now he is doing a 180 on healthcare reform for political expediency.

    FYI to use blockquotes in main posts select your text and just click on the ” button icon. It’s actually easier to do than in responses. You also have to use the entire picture link in the preview box for it to show.

    • PatsyT says:

      Coming from you KQ, I am honored.
      I have sat with three different excellent teachers and hugged
      them while they cried about being let go,
      then of course, I start crying, one was a single mom, what a mess.

      On a brighter note- did you catch this?
      Obama today at the White House --
      Educate to Innovate
      STEM Science Technology engineering and mathematics
      Now if we can get that pesky repub minority to sit down and shut up.
      We might get something done for Education.

      • KQuark says:

        I actually did get to catch that when I was waiting in the hospital.

        Above all to me personally President Obama’s emphasis on science and math is my favorite change from the Bush dark ages.

        I plan to look into the mentor program and see if they need scientists who can volunteer to mentor students on line. I mentored students when I was in FL when my company had a mentor program and it was a great experience for me and the students. Even though people like me cannot mentor students in person you would think we could help students on line with homework and other parts of their studies.

        • PatsyT says:

          So cool KQ,
          They would be lucky to have you as their mentor.
          Teach for America, Maybe?

          I like how Obama spoke of Singapore and how they have no problem
          recruiting quality teachers because they pay on the same scale as doctors and lawyers.
          Imagine if we even did even a bit of that.

          • KQuark says:

            It reminds me of the most inspirational event I participated in during my life. I did not mentor the young man but I got to hire him in his first position to use his degree. He was on the brink stuck in an inner city school until another colleague of mine got to mentored him in high school. The company I worked for then gave him a scholarship for NC State. Instead of entering industry right away he decided to serve his country because his father did and he became and Army Ranger. He actually won Special Forces Soldier of the year one year because instead of going in as an officer he decided to go in as an enlisted man. After he served the country I had the opportunity to hire him out of the Army and he was by far the best employee I ever managed. He was so successful he got promoted in a just over a year and a half. I keep in touch with him on a regular basis and he’s got a lovely family and is still overachieving in life. So I know mentoring works first hand.

            • PatsyT says:

              Even more Cool!
              That gives you the warm fuzzies all over.
              Very inspirational!

            • KQuark says:

              We think so anyway. 😉

            • PatsyT says:

              Microwave family -- HA!
              That would come from a scientist!
              My Dad was an engineer
              I think the science crowd must be a little more entertaining then the engineers.

            • KQuark says:

              It was really the proudest moment of my career. He had some issues from his service that I was able to help him with as well since I had been through so much and had so much experience when I got to be his first mentor in business. Put it this way he was wrapped real tight and I was able to loosen him up.

              My favorite story to tell about him is that he was so efficient that even when he had children he decided to get it done in one step because he ended up having fraternal twins a boy and a girl. I use to call them his microwave family.

          • KQuark says:

            That was the part of the speech I remember most for sure.

  7. bitohistory says:

    Patsy, AZ is in a similar situation except we have Republicans in control and they seem to not care a whit about cutting anything and everything. They want to cut education more but they have to apply for a waiver from the Feds. They don’t want to lose their stimulus funds, something they condemn daily! They even are selling state buildings and leasing them back, While all the time cutting taxes on corporations. j’avaz has been on top of this more than I have been. Good post! I’m sure some other people will chime in on what is going on in their state.

    How many seats do the R’s have over the 1/3 they need to block?

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