A Medicare Approach For CA Schools

Whenever I use Medicare, the government pays a health provider of my choice even if the provider is not operated by the government. The same goes for Medicaid, which uses public funds to pay for the care of 15 million Californians. Likewise, anyone obtaining premium support through Covered California gets to choose among insurance providers. … Continue reading A Medicare Approach For CA Schools

SFUSD Ignores Millions In Federal Funds

San Francisco Unified School District spends up to 250% more than the average CA school district on OPEB, which are insurance subsidies for retired employees. That's because SFUSD is one of the few districts to subsidize retirees on Medicare. And because SFUSD doesn't take advantage of generous federal subsidies available under Obamacare for retirees under … Continue reading SFUSD Ignores Millions In Federal Funds

LAO’s Impossible Task

Dear Legislators, The Legislative Analyst’s Office is filled with talented people who occasionally take on impossible tasks. Take LAO’s recent Fiscal Outlook for Schools in which it boldly predicts that “capital gains revenue [will be] strong in 2022-23.” I can’t predict the stock market next week much less next year but unlike the state I’m … Continue reading LAO’s Impossible Task

Scapegoating And Suppression At SFUSD

When it reported a deficit last year, San Francisco Unified School District blamed Special Education. This year, SFUSD is blaming declining enrollment. Not being blamed is the real culprit. Despite a near-tripling of the stock market over that period, pension costs more than tripled. Another truth being suppressed at SFUSD is the unnecessary expenditure of … Continue reading Scapegoating And Suppression At SFUSD

Back To School

School employee unions in California weren't always powerful. That started to change in 1975 when they were extended collective bargaining rights but that alone didn't confer their dominance. The other ingredient was the failure of good government organizations to persistently resist their demands. Nearly six million California kids heading back to K-12 schools this week suffer the consequences. Treated more like captives … Continue reading Back To School

A Tale of Two Lawsuits

In 2012, nine California public school students filed a lawsuit (Vergara v. California) alleging that state statutes on teacher tenure, layoffs and dismissal denied equal protection to students assigned to ineffective teachers. The students won in Superior Court but public employee unions appealed and won. Public employee unions played to win for their members. Also … Continue reading A Tale of Two Lawsuits

27 Legislators Channel Wayne Morse

Wayne Morse was one of only two US Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964 expanding military action in Vietnam. It takes guts to oppose party leadership. This week California saw similar courage when nearly a third of Democratic members of the California Legislature called for budget reserves greater than those … Continue reading 27 Legislators Channel Wayne Morse

California’s K-12 schools are being set up for a fall of epic proportions

If we are reading the laws about school reserves correctly, California’s K-12 schools are being set up for a fall of epic proportions unless schools or the state save much more from surging revenues. Under conditions likely to be met this year, non-basic aid school districts with more than 2,500 Average Daily Attendance must cap reserves at only 10 percent … Continue reading California’s K-12 schools are being set up for a fall of epic proportions

Save Our Schools

Dear Legislators, Non-government-operated schools have been one of the few bright spots during the pandemic. While many independent, parochial and charter schools have been serving students for months, LAUSD just welcomed students back this week and kids in San Francisco Unified are still waiting. Yet a bill has been introduced to crush charter schools in California. The stated motivation … Continue reading Save Our Schools

How To Deliver For Californians

Dear Legislators, According to the NYT's Ezra Klein in The Best Explanation of Biden's Thinking I've Heard, President Biden wants government to “deliver for its own citizens.” But that can't happen in California without your help. Most domestic services are delivered by states. Paramount among those services is K-12 education, which California has handled during … Continue reading How To Deliver For Californians