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Capital appreciation bonds worth $9 billion will end up costing taxpayers $36 billion. Some school districts use this type of financing to avoid state limit on property taxes. Voters often are unaware of repayment costs when bond measures are approved.
The Bay Citizen looks at the cost to taxpayers because of California public schools and the loans that build them.  

But let’s take a look at what’s already happened to the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems: 

  • the state gives the UC system 44% less money than it did in 1990
  • the CSUs have capped freshmen enrollment numbers
  • yet a record number of students applied to the University of California’s 10 campuses for next fall
  • Governor Brown’s proposed increases STILL leave schools with $625 million less than they were given in 2007

Doesn’t this track record really speak for itself? 


At Susan B. Anthony Elementary, Mr. Vue’s kindergarteners sit on a brightly colored carpet as they look up at him, repeating sounds of the alphabet.

“Ahhh, aaay, eeeh,” he sings as the children sing along. The sounds are not in English. The school, located in South Sacramento, is home to the only Hmong dual-language immersion program on the West Coast — and the second in the country after a similar program in St. Paul, Minnesota.

According to the U.S. Census, Sacramento has the third most populous Hmong community in the United States, right behind Fresno, CA and St. Paul, Minnesota.

[We have to] ensure that in the years ahead we are welcoming the talents of all who can contribute to this country and that we’re living up to the basic American idea that you can make it here if you try.

That’s the idea that gave hope to José Hernández. I want you to think about this story. José’s parents were migrant farm workers. And so, growing up, he was too. He was born in California, though he could have just as easily been born on the other side of the border, if it had been a different time of year, because his family moved around with the seasons. So two of his siblings were actually born in Mexico.

So they traveled a lot, and José joined his parents picking cucumbers and strawberries. And he missed part of school when they returned to Mexico each winter. José didn’t learn English until he was 12 years old. But you know what, José was good at math and he liked math. And the nice thing is that math was the same in every school, and it’s the same in Spanish as it is in English.

So José studied, and he studied hard. And one day, he’s standing in the fields, collecting sugar beets, and he heard on a transistor radio that a man named Franklin Chang-Diaz—a man with a surname like his—was going to be an astronaut for NASA. So José decided—right there in the field, he decided—well, I could be an astronaut, too.

So José kept on studying, and he graduated high school. And he kept on studying, and he earned an engineering degree. And he kept on studying, and he earned a graduate degree. And he kept on working hard, and he ended up at a national laboratory, helping to develop a new kind of digital medical imaging system.

And a few years later, he found himself more than 100 miles above the surface of the Earth, staring out of the window of the shuttle Discovery, and he was remembering the boy in the California fields with that crazy dream that in America everything is possible.

Think about that. That’s the American Dream right there. That’s what we’re fighting for.
President Obama on the need for comprehensive immigration reform (via barackobama)
I think success would be when we can take down that sign that says our schools are a gun-free zone, or maybe change the sign — cross off gun-free and put victim-free.

California state lawmaker Tim Donnelly, who recently proposed Assembly Bill 202, which would let schools guard against shootings by arming their staff.

This coming from the man who was once detained at an Ontario airport for having a loaded gun in his carry-on bag



“If there’s anything Oakland needs right now, it’s more guns in the classroom.” Andrew Arulanandam, a NRA spokesman said. “If one of the teachers at Oikos University had tactical combat training, body armor, and an AR-15 in the classroom, that tragic school shooting could have been averted with only maybe a couple people dead, instead of seven.”

Teachers can sign up for Oakland’s Armed Teacher program via the Head Start website.

Wow, I had really thought this must have been an article from The Onion. 

It took a combination of Prop 30 tax hikes, ad hoc progressive coalitions, new online voting registration technology, and a lot of effort.

A fantastic New Republic article explains how California’s progressives managed to balance the state books— from a 2009 budget deficit of $42 billion to an estimated surplus of $851 million in the 2013-2014 fiscal year:

"…you can see in California’s experience a path for dealing with the current woes in Washington. California was held hostage by a conservative minority demanding unpopular concessions to end manufactured crises. Progressives fought their way out of this box by taking away the tools of minority obstruction, and empowering marginalized communities to use their vote, expanding the progressive base. National Democrats reducing minority obstruction through actions like filibuster reform, and increasing engagement among infrequent voters (particularly in non-Presidential election cycles), could accomplish similar goals.

The ballot propositions, Assemblymen races, and Representative races that are in close contest right now.

As of this moment, Prop 30 (temporary tax increases for education) is one of the closest!

California’s ballot confusing you?

Make sure to check out KQED’s 2012 Proposition Guide for more info.