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.

 http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1904938,00.html#ixzz0bsx9oEFa

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.

http://www.wavenewspapers.com/news/regional/37673589.html

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-

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/2010/01/text-of-arnold.html

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Hopeington
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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.

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choicelady
Member

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.

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abby4ever
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Patsyt: a really good article, but sad. How is that he keeps getting re-elected?

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choicelady
Member

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.

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nellie
Member

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.

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tb92
Member
tb92

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.

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choicelady
Member

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.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

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.

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bito
Member

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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