In today's Orange County Register, I argue that the teachers union opposition to Prop. 38 makes the case for Prop. 32.
While there is a long list of reasons to be skeptical of both propositions, the big thing that's puzzled me since the debate is this: How could any rational member of the California Teachers Association or any teacher possibly endorse Prop. 30 over Prop. 38? Molly Munger's Prop 38, hands down, offers students and teachers more money, more control, and more job security. In fact, Munger's proposal is so much better that, for once, the state PTA split with the teacher's union to back Prop. 38 . . .
For reasons that include the bargain the teachers unions have made with Gov. Brown to keep pensions for teachers largely intact, as well as the threat by Gov. Brown to cut $6 billion from schools this year if Prop. 30 fails, the teachers unions have revealed their true colors, yet again, siding with Gov. Brown over the best interests of students and teachers.
From the very beginning, public employee unions and their allies have circled the wagons in opposition to Prop. 38. They've spent tens of millions in direct support of Prop. 30, while simultaneously funding direct attacks using organizations such as Democrats Against Proposition 38.
The war between Prop. 30 and 38 provides the case for Prop. 32, the initiative that prohibits corporations, unions, and government employers from deducting union dues that are used for political purposes from their workers' paychecks without their consent.
If given the opportunity and direct control over their political contributions, some teachers would have been more likely to support Prop. 38, which protects jobs and guarantees a funding stream to their individual schools.Yet, as it is in every political issue in California, the teachers union makes the political choice for each individual teacher.