City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Larry Sand
Debt the Teachers’ Unions Cause Us « Back to Story

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Superman doesn't seem to be showing up in California. Is there some point where the electorate can grasp the nexus of the teacher's unions and their stooges, the state legislators? I only visit California annually. My Grandkids all attend private school. Their parents of course, quite successful, did not. How sad.
Superman doesn't seem to be showing up in California. Is there some point where the electorate can grasp the nexus of the teacher's unions and their stooges, the state legislators? I only visit California annually. My Grandkids all attend private school. Their parents of course, quite successful, did not. How sad.
Parents (taxpayers) could counter the union's efforts to use their children "human shields" by refusing to allow thier children to participate. Keep them home from school on designated union "action" days. Wisconsin's problem was parents allowed their children to be used in the teacher/union protests rather than counter-protesting by not allowing their children to be tools of the union. Sounds like a blog viral/action to me.
Charter schools do not get better results than comparable public schools. At least 80% of them don't.
Robert D. Skeels May 13, 2011 at 10:09 PM
If the highest quintile of Californian income garners paid the same rate of taxes as the lowest quintile of income earners, there would be no budget crisis. An oil extraction tax and a fair corporate tax structure would create a surplus allowing us to return to the golden age of our state. Mr. Sand's misplaced blame on to hardworking schoolteachers is indicative of the interests of those he serves.
If we get rid of teachers unions how would we ever reelect all the incompetent people in Sacremanto? With out the millions and millions and tens of millions that go from tax payers straight to the unions and from there right back into the pockets of legislators for their reelection.whi increase taxes so they will receive even more money from the unions....I guess the trickel down approach really does work,especially when it's aflood.
Francis W. Stocker, M.D. May 11, 2011 at 10:04 PM
A more egregious matter is the Ca prison systems. Cost per prisoner over three times that in Texas. The system costs 9 billion out of a 73 billion budget. Past govenors and legislatures have bought the prison guard votes with salaries and benefits. Gov. Brown is trying to save by transferring some prisoners to local less expensive county jails. Problem is there is no room and other ciminals will be let out.
Of course, teachers and guards are deep into the Affirmative Action mire.
I don't think there is the voter support for the teachers union that there has been in the past, at least based on the comments I've read in the SF Chron's online site. Most of the posters there, presumeably a strong majority of them liberal, seem fed up with the combination of ever-rising education costs delivering poorer and poorer performance.
Tom - If CalSTRS wants to return all the money I put into the retirement system over 24 years, along with the interest and profits that money accrued, I'd be happy to accept and let the taxpayers off the hook.
e pluribus unum May 11, 2011 at 5:00 PM
We already have a voucher type system for post secondary education. Students get government loans to attend college and get to choose to spend that money at public, private or even religious schools. This can be done for the K-12.
And promote homeschooling whenever possible. The real cost per pupil of public education in Los Angeles is $25,208. Even the stated public cost is $10,053. So if as few as an additional 616,000 students were homeschooled, that would take care of your entire budget gap right there - not just the school's budget gap, but the entire state's.

CA has about 6.2 miillion students. So if just 1 in 10 were homeschooled, all your problems would be solved.

For the story on public-school costs, and a downloadable PDF with the statistics, go here: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11432

Mary Pride, Publisher of Practical Homeschooling magazine
Er, Larry, have you voluntarily given up your CALSTRS pension?
Yawn. Just another blowhard complaining about "the status quo" ... your moaning is pretty much "the status quo" too, ya know? How about you all stop yelling at each other over the fence? or is that the point, yelling?
The cuts mentioned in this article are a good idea.
Every year the teachers cry for more money.
The taxpayers are sick of it.
Hey teachers you wonder why the kids act so bad? They are imitating you.
Grow up!
Larry has left out other obvious ways to save money.
-Eliminate, or make the students directly pay for all costs of all "Studies" classes at colleges and universities, and cut them from the high schools.
-Fire 50% of all administrators.
-Cut the staff at district offices by 50%.


You could use this article as a template for all of the other US States strangled in union corruption,and the critical fact that the NEA has been turning the country into a Socialist/Communist Orwellian nightmare for decades(an entire generation already programmed to the Socialist doublespeak) Read PLUNDER,by S.Greenhut,peruse www.commieblasters to see mind-boggling realities of a supine populace, as Solzhenitsyn cautioned decades ago in "Warning to the West" Get your state's copy of their CAFR report and be verbally prepared when the school unions continue their whining. I should know;my husband and I homeschooled five of our children, and the oldest,attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship,jumping ahead of the class earning his PhD.The abysmal Socialist Public school system needs to have free market competition, or be dismantled.
Another note: I am aware that across the nation there are many charter schools that were funded and started by a Jihadist named Fatullah Gulen. This is a dangerous precedent and charter schools must be carefully scrutinized. there are about 8 Gulen charters in the LAUSD.
Excellent article, Larry, and the solutions would certainly work. I would add one more: promote the voucher system and get rid of the Federal Dept of Ed.
B. Cayenne Bird May 10, 2011 at 6:25 PM
There is no doubt that Republicans built government to the moon by passing harsh laws that had no funding sources and by voting down many sentencing reform bills. However, Republicans aren't solely to blame.

SB151 will give hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to prison guards in increased salaries and wages. It already passed the Senate by one vote, it is now heading to the Assembly. There is also still $7 bil in new prison construction that could be wiped from the budget if Brown would do one simple, courageous thing. Release the 54,000 non-violent inmates who are getting out anyway. Release them right now instead of building $7 billion in prisons and spendng billions more per year of our education and human services dollars to operate them. Please join the campaign, Liberals To Recall Jerry Brown, http://www.facebook.com/LiberalsToRecallJerryBrown
Remember that Brown was the one who passed the original determinate sentencing laws more responsible for the present fiscal and humanitarian crisis. He took $1.8 mil from prison guards to get elected. He will serve them for as long as we allow him to sit in office. Let's cut our losses. Brown Out!
Solid analysis with real solutions. Well done, Larry.
Caroline Hoxby addresses the errors in the CREDO study here - http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/memo_on_the_credo_study%20II.pdf
The Wine Commonsewer May 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Well said, Larry.

Big Teacher protest in Fullerton coming up. John & Ken (KFI) plan to show up with their list of Fullerton teachers and administrators salaries exceeding 90k a year. Something like 550 of them.
Where are your numbers on the effectiveness of Charter schools coming from? Last I checked the most comprehensive nationwide study of Charter Schools found that most of them were the same or WORSE than traditional public schools.

http://credo.stanford.edu/