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Pop Quiz on Proposition 38

Decisions in the voting booth should not be like the dreaded pop quiz. Find out more about Prop. 38.

Decisions in the voting booth should not be like the dreaded pop quiz.

"Gee… I wish I had spent a little more time studying this so I know the answer."

This November, the children of California are counting on you to have done your homework. You will be deciding on the education and future of an entire generation of children.

The California State Parent Teacher Association helped write and supports Proposition 38 because California needs to start to restore education programs at every public school.

Now--let's pretend you are getting ready to decide how to vote.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be giving you short little quizzes so you know what is in Proposition 38. 

The title of Proposition 38 is:

TAX TO FUND EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

Here is the first quiz.

Read the following information copied from Proposition 38 and then answer a few short questions.

e) “Educational program” means expenditures for the following purposes at a K–12 schoolsite, approved at a public hearing by the governing board of the LEA with jurisdiction over the school, to improve the pupils’ academic performance, graduation rates, and vocational, career, college, and life readiness:

 (1) Instruction in the arts, physical education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, history, civics, financial literacy, English and foreign languages, and technical, vocational, or career education.

(2) Smaller class sizes.

(3) More counselors, librarians, school nurses, and other support staff at the schoolsite.

(4) Extended learning time through longer school days or longer school years, summer school, preschool, after school enrichment programs, and tutoring.

(5) Additional social and academic support for English language learners, low-income pupils, and pupils with special needs.

(6) Alternative education models that build pupils’ capacity for critical thinking and creativity.

(7) More communication and engagement with parents as true partners with schools in helping all children succeed.

Here are the questions:

1.  Does Proposition 38 tell you what the money can be spent on at our schools?

2.  Can Proposition 38 be used to pay for extended learning time?

3.  Can Proposition 38 be used to pay for smaller class sizes?

Answer: Yes for all questions.

Find out what your school will receive at www.prop38forlocalschools.org/restore.

Now that you’ve taken the first quiz, check back next week to learn more about Prop 38.

Carol Kocivar is the president of the California Parent Teacher Association.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 18, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Average pension for an administrator is 90 percent of annual pay. Average pension for a Bay Area CEO os $223,000.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 18, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Starting pay averages around $82,000 for a principal in the Bay Area. I have a friend who just got hired as a school principal. He came in below the average by several thousand dollars. He works all but two weeks out of the year and puts in 10 - 12 hour days.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 18, 2012 at 09:25 PM
You, Andrew, sound like a blinder-wearing conservative you has only one answer for everything (cut taxes) without any understanding of what that means.
Kali October 19, 2012 at 09:39 AM
I agree.
Kali October 19, 2012 at 09:39 AM
Good post
Kali October 19, 2012 at 09:55 AM
Lou, please do not use CEO pay ( private corps ) as an arguement. Schools grab more of taxpayers money than any other program. 45% of our state taxes are to schools. Our parcel taxes and bonds take another chunk. and yet is not enough. No corporation takes my money. Schools get enough and most do not spend it as they say. Classic example. San Mateo CC. They spent a huge chunk of my money building a state of the art gym that rivals most Universities. They spent money re-vamping the office's of upper mangement and who knows what else, so when they came back last yeat for another 500 Mil bond, please wised up. San Carlos. We have an expensive bond passed in 2005 and I have yet to find anywhere that states what this money is being spent on, and now they want 72 mil more, using the same language as the on in 2005. Plus our 2 parcel taxes. All this for 7 small schools. The system need to be changed. I suspect Pensions have alot to do with all of this. All this money taken from taxpayers all these years and look where we stand. It's like Chicago. Worst system in the country yet the highest paid and shortest work year. If the teachers union was dissolved, I would re-consider my stand.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I answered the question and used a comparative example. The principal is the CEO of a school. Your opinion that schools get enough money to do what they need to do is a broad opinion with out basis in fact, neither is your accusation that they are not spending it according to their records. You have no proof of either statement. Each school district gets a different amount of money than another. Redwood City Elementary School District gets per student ess than half of what the Woodside Elementary District and two thirds of what Palo Alto gets. Yet they educate more students than both districts combined. How your district runs is different from my district. There is no equality. But whenever a cut comes, Redwood City takes a great hit than any other district on the peninsula. And based on past comments, Even if the union was dissolved and teacher pay was cut to minimum wage, you would still complain with out basis of fact.
Andrew Peceimer October 19, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Lou, Did you know the average teacher is required to work 210 days not 250 days like in the private sector? Did you factor this to use apples to apples on salaries? How many days does a CEO typically work? Do you know the average salary for a Burlingame resident is $65,000 per year typcially working 245 days a year with no guaranteed pension? The bigger problem is not the teachers it is the adminstratiors. Why should Burlingame School Admin make $100,000 plus a year ( Working 205 to 214 days a year-less than the private sector who are paying the bills) and later retire at $10,000 per month? Lou, How much is your pension?
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 05:31 PM
School administrators work a minimum of 45 weeks a year. That includes two week vacations and holidays. The minimum living wage in the bay area is $65,000 a year. The average pay for school administrators in the bay area is on par with the median income for for the bay area. There are variances in every district based on district revenue and how long someone has worked in the position. As for me, I declared bankruptcy in January. I have no pension and no salary at the moment. My wife works part time in a private school. But I do not begrudge people a decent living or retirement just because they are a public employee. I've already had my experience with the ghost of Christmas past, present and future.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM
A teacher may be required to work 210 days but that's what they get paid for. They do not get paid for staying up past midnight every night grading papers. They do not get paid for working Saturdays and Sundays on lesson plans and preparation. The average teacher works 60-70 hours a week. And then during summer break, they take jobs in retail to pay the bills. Your focus is only on the highest paid examples. You don't look at the averages. You don't realize that every year, teachers get laid off, and then are rehired at entry level pay as new hires. You need to get your head out of the sand.
Andrew Peceimer October 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Lou, After spending billions and billons of dollars why do only 76% of California kids graduate? http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/06/californias-high-school-graduation-rate-edges-upward.html Lou, It appears as though you love to lower the standards and accept subpar performance? If a public employee wants more money how about being noble and starting a private school? We are still in a partially free country with the expection of people like you wanting to take others money.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM
You leap to conclusions about me that have no basis in fact. You also have no understanding of what it takes to run a private school, much less start one. I do. Andrew, if I wanted to find a way to make money in real estate, you're one of the first people I would call. If I wanted to know something about Burlingame, I'd drop you a line. But you are the last person I'd want information from regarding what it takes to educate children or how a school should be run.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I understand that the US spends more on education than any other country on the face of the earth. That is because we have three separate levels of educational bureaucracy: federal, state and local. All three are redundant is specific ways. But when we cut education funds, we never start with the bureaucracy, we start with local districts. That's bass ackward. I don't like the fact that we are talking about raising taxes, especially income taxes. The state has become to dependent on income tax and too focused on one source of revenue. We need to expand the tax base. If I were the person writing they propositions, I would not have included income tax in the equation, but it would never get passed. Prop 30 is a compromise in the right direction. Prop 38 is more of the same old thing. I am not willing to sacrifice children on the altar of Prop. 13 any more. Since we can't change that, we have to do something else. When we get someone in the state or federal capitols that want to accomplish real change, I'll be right there with them, but at the moment, in Redwood City, something needs to be done now. What we have before us is the best possible answer. Cutting education another $6 billion is not the way to go.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I was a journalist covering education in the state when Prop 13 came around, and as a conservative I voted for it when, in an interview with Howard Jarvis, I asked about all the warnings about what would happen if Proposition 13 passed. Specifically about the transfer of the tax burden to be overwhelmingly on the side of homeowners; unbalancing the tax base between sales tax, property tax and income tax to an over-dependence on income tax; and robbing control of revenue from local government. He called all of that scare tactics and the controlled growth would be a boon to tax revenue. All of what was predicted came true. I've come to believe Jarvis knew it as well and just flat out lied to me. I've regretted my decision for 20 years.
Andrew Peceimer October 19, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Lou, Due to the fact my daughter was accepted to Cal Poly this year and my son is a 4.0 student and former class President at BIS I am not sure why you want to put me down in regards to school advice, but please feel free to continuing to express yourself. Now I need to get back to you. Enjoy your day my Patch friend!
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Not putting you down, just your position and now, questioning why, after the success your children had in school, why you would want to deny that same level of education and opportunity to students still in the system. ;) Have a good day.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I say that, because this tax increase is not to give more money to education, but to lessen the inevitable cuts that are going to happen.
Vince Chutney October 19, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Why is it that the private schools (e.g., St. Ignatius High in SF) have higher test scores, higher univ. admittance, modernized facilities/infrastructure, complete sports programs with state-of-the-art facil./equip., school bands/orchestras, extra-curricular art programs, debate teams, drama clubs, and all with minimal or non existent discipline problems? And all at a fraction of the cost per student compared to their public counterparts. We need to put the dynamics of the free marketplace into play vis-a-vis education. We must privatize the entire system. This will result in a merit based pay structure, one where competition is fostered amongst educators. No more self-serving seniority/tenure based system as we now have in the public schools. Education CEOS will be rewarded for meeting their budgets in this privatized paradigm, as they are in the private sector corp. world. The best education CEOs will receive total compensation commensurate with their accomplishments - much like their corp. CEO counterparts. Granted, this will eliminate the gifting of A's and trophys to every student just so they can feel good about themselves. It may also mean that the students will once again have a football team to cheer for, rather than a football field that has been converted into a restored wetlands/native plant garden where students sit in the stands rooting for extirpated endangered species to reappear. It also means a return to the 3 R's and no more "Sally Has 2 Mommies"!
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Vince, again, this is a gross oversimplification. Catholic schools operate at slightly less cost per student than public schools because they are designed to operate at a loss. The Catholic Church makes up the difference. The average, Non-Catholic private schools operate at a significantly higher cost per student than average public schools, but pay instructors less than public schools because their are fewer requirements for those teachers. Several teachers in private schools lack state credentials and a few lack undergraduate degrees. That doesn't mean they are bad teachers, they just don't have to go through the same hoops as public school teachers. Private school teachers also operate without health insurance, retirement benefits and vacation pay. My wife carries state credentialing for all grades and has taught everything from Kindergarten to undergraduate school. She has 30 years of experience. She works for just above minimum wage. The poor results in public schools currently comes not from the inefficiencies of the organization or teachers or administrators, but on the regulatory burdens placed on them from State and Federal bureaucracies. Testing standards are established by political appointees that have no experience in the classroom. Their information is based on outdated and inaccurate research.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive October 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM
You might ask, "Why does your wife work for such a pittance?" Because for most of our life together, I have been able to bring in an income that supports us, leaving her free to work in an environment that actually allows her to teach children effectively. She has never had to teach a class of 40 students, even when she taught in college. She has been able to work individually with students with learning difficulties. She has helped literally hundreds of students succeed in life. So what you are asking is "Why don't educators today just marry someone who makes enough money to support them both so I don't have to pay someone a decent wage to teach our children?" It's a pretty selfish question, don't you think?
Steve Hayes October 19, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Vince - here are some answers- Why is it that the private schools (e.g., St. Ignatius High in SF) have higher test scores? Actually many private high schools have lower scores than the better public schools. Of course schools like SI should reflect better performance than public schools because they select their students - they screen the students with tests. As for better facilities and extra programs? - SI charges about $18K per year while the average public high school cost per student (CA average) is less than $10K - no wonder why SI can afford to do more. So yes money does matter - Calif currently ranks about 35 compared to other states in spending per student and we really need to prevent the removal of another $6Bil from the numerator of the that equation.
HizDesign October 19, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Comparing kids in private schools to kids in public schools, and yes, I've had both, AND had experience with both situations long term: In a nutshell, kids in private schools are expected to behave, to do their schoolwork AND homework, to attend their classes, to show respect for the teacher(s) and staff, etc., etc. Kids in public schools MAY be TOLD they're expected to do the same, but enforcing the "rules" is nearly impossible, and not done with any degree of success. The results vary from dropouts, to attending alternative schools as young as 6th-8th grade, simply because the student "couldn't handle" or "couldn't keep up with" the "regular classes". Well heck yeah, if no one requires anything of you, and certainly doesn't DARE cross you (or your dear sweet parents, as the case may be) certainly you'll find it easier to skip classes, or just sit through them daydreaming or chatting / texting, etc in each and every class. Think I'm wrong? Think I may be exaggerating? Visit a class or 3. I dare ya. As for me, I will not now nor ever vote for any tax, fee, or bond that claims to be "good" in any way shape or form for the schools. Teachers DO work loong hard hours. Teachers don't get paid enough. Neither do a lot of people. But teachers DO have one advantage: they HAVE a job. :)
Watzon McWats October 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM
As a dual income no kids household, we're already getting punished enough for working hard and not having children. My friends with kids go on trips to Hawaii every year with their big tax refunds, while we scrimp in order to save up for the fat check we're going to have to cut Uncle Sam every year. We take a sizable penalty on our income taxes, and pay property tax so that our neighbors kids can go to school, get bused there, get free lunches, WIC, etc, etc. So why the hell would someone like me want to fork over even more of my paycheck to educate other people's kids? I understand the need to share the load a bit, but it's getting ridiculous. Families like ours can't afford to be penalized anymore than we already are. Part of the reason we don't have kids is because I don't believe we can responsibly afford to give them the upbringing they deserve, so the government and the people choose to tax the hell out of us for that - making it even harder to ever save up to have kids should we decide to do so. How about you tax people according to how many children they have, not how many they don't? I'm not the one who chose to have kids that I can't afford (I say this knowing how many Pajaro Valley School District students are on assistance of some kind). I'm so sick of this whining about school funding. How bout you learn to spend what you've got first before asking for more. The public school system is no more mature than the children they teach. And seriously, a quiz?
Watzon McWats October 19, 2012 at 10:54 PM
The average Watsonville elementary school teacher is making $58,474 a year plus benefits, that's $13,053 more than the average HOUSEHOLD income in Watsonville - and they get the entire summer off. Sure, they work well beyond 40 hours a week, so does every other salaried employee right now - get over yourself.
HizDesign October 20, 2012 at 01:47 AM
WELL SAID WATZON :)
Milan Moravec October 20, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Examples of how Prop 30 38 funds will be spent. Are these your choices? University of California Chancellor Birgeneau ($450,000), Provost Breslauer ($306,000) pick pockets of in-state students, their parents clean. Birgeneau’s, Provost’s tuition increases ranked public Cal. the # 1 most expensive (during the greatest recession of modern times) for in-state students. B & B’s 14% annual tuition increases (2006 – 20012) illustrates an out of touch, self-serving Cal. senior management. Robert J Birgeneau and Provost forget they are public servants, stewards of the public money, not overseers of their own fiefdom. Let’s review how they used tax funding: Pay ex-politician $300,000 for several lectures; Recruit affluent foreign & affluent out of state students who displace qualified instate applicants; Spend millions (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost) for OE consultants to remove Chancellor, Provost created inefficiencies but prevent OE from examining Cal. senior management. Email marsha.kelman@ucop.edu Calif. State Senators, Assembly Members (The author has 35 years’ management consulting, taught at Cal. where he observed the culture & ways of senior management & yes was not fired).
Andrew Peceimer October 22, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Milan, You make some great points. Too bad the students typically do not have any idea who is getting rich off their tution.
Milan Moravec October 23, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Einstein on Prop. 30, Prop. 38 – “Spending more money on doing what has been done in the past and hoping for a better outcome is insanity”. Have the innovative, thoughtful, insightful, creative teachers and faculty create methodologies to increase learning with significantly reduced resources $. Be American do more with less! No on 30, No on 38 and No on 32
Louis Educe October 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM
For full information on the tax increase you all will have to pay until the year 2025 go to http://www.prop38forlocalschools.org/read-the-initiative.aspx and scroll down to section 8 FYI - if you make between 48 K and 100 K you will be billed between $368 and $400 EACH year for 12 years PLUS a 1.6% add on. NOTE this is a 12 year plan until 2025 Prop 30 is a 4 year plan - 1/4 cent sales tax increase and "marginal" (less than 1%) increase in income tax for those who make $200 000 or more. Most middle and lower income people will ONLY have to pay the sales tax. (Which is a Penny = 0.01 more on every $4.00) Yes the Prop 38 money goes to schools but it is K-12 ONLY. the state's colleges and universities will become unaffordable for a vast majority of CA "in state tuition" payers. as they have said that if Prop 30 is not passed they WILL have to raise tuition by 10-25%. Also State based aid will dry up too. While Prop 38 has many good ideas, now is not the time to pass this with Brown having to make cuts if Prop 30 does not pass. ALSO know that BOTH can't pass. Whichever one has the most votes goes into effect and overrides the other.
Andrew Peceimer October 25, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Since Gov. Brown and the state legislature have us billions of dollars in debt, why would anyone trust them again and want to give them more money? http://www.usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-california-debt-clock.html Vote No on Prop 30 and 38!

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