What State-level practices and policies hold back the quality of our public schools and what are your plans to change them?
The under funding of our California public schools is the main deterrent to quality public education in the state. I was an advocate for Prop 98 in 1988 as a floor for funding. It has, however, become a ceiling and is now threatened again in Sacramento
I continue to promote a progressive taxation alternative in California. Both corporate taxes and personal income taxes need to be raised on profitable companies and super rich individuals. Chevron, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood make billions of dollars in profits, but pay too little in taxes to the state that provides the educated workforce and infrastructure for their operations.
Prop 24 is a small step in the movement to close tax loopholes on corporate California. I stand for amending Prop 13 to create a split roll to reassess corporate property at a higher rate. The top 3% of California wage earners control over 25% of the state's income. They can afford to support public education and all social services to provide relief to cities, counties, and school districts. The money is here in the Golden State. It is simply a matter of priorities.
•Funding for schools remains the top priority; not only increasing funding so that we are at least at the median for per-student funding, but ensuring that funding meets adequacy standards, and that schools in needy areas, have supplemental funding for instruction, health and safety, and facilities modernization.
• Instructional changes that increase linkages between pre school, K-12, and adult education, including community colleges, and especially for college and career literacy. I work on several projects related to Career-Technical Education, at both the K-12 and the Community College level. Linked Learning is one of those initiatives that will require significant policy changes (for example, workplace learning, dual enrollmnent, and teacher credentialing) if it is to be fully and effectively implemented.
• Personnel policies with respect to seniority appointments and layoffs have been severely restrictive, and resulted in impossible choices for schools and the district to make this year, when we were faced with over 600 layoffs.
The state level practices and policies that hold back education is the funding source of the schools. The state funding mechanism does not adequately fund public education so the schools never get enough money to make them truly viable. In order to remedy this issue, the local school district should advocate through our elected representatives in Sacramento to "push the envelope" to make needed changes. Much has been said about reforming Proposition 13, expanding the property tax base, modifying the Average Daily Attendance formula, etc. I am open to any and all of these changes, but there is no comprehensive strategy at this point.