Talk about feeling pulled in two directions.
The state of California has no money. Tax revenues have been down for years now and because of that, the budget for schools has been decreased substantially. One report claimed that the average district is operating on 70% of the money they operated with 5 years ago.
The cuts have been dramatic. First, and in my opinion most important, class sizes have increased by huge numbers. While 35 students used to be a big class in my Accelerated Algebra 2 class, this year I have a class with 47. 47!!!!!! This is not acceptable. I understand that the data indicates that for a measurable affect with respect to class size, class sizes should drop to about 18 students. But everyone with a brain would of course agree that less individual attention is available with more students in class. 47 is absurd in a high school math class.
Teachers have been let go, support personnel have been let go, maintenance guys, janitors, cafeteria workers, secretaries, psychologists have been let go. Facilities need repair, grounds are overgrown, and morale is at an all time low. Public education could use a couple more dollars.
Prop 30 promises those dollars for schools. My union is begging us all to get out there and support this proposition with our vote for a tax increase as well as canvassing neighborhoods and manning phone banks to encourage our neighbors to vote for the tax increase as well.
Except that I don't think a tax increase is the answer. We don't have an income problem here in California, we have a spending problem. I could write papers on the wasteful programs and billions of dollars thrown around. One example is the program that pays people for taking care of their parents when their parents need to be taken care of. We pay people to look after family? Are you kidding me? Oh I understand the theory. If the parents are poor, paying a child is cheaper than having the government take care of them in a government facility. What a bunch of crap this is. And, in addition to the absurdity of the program, the amount of fraud is estimated in the hundred's of millions. Think the schools could use some of that money?
We are the most taxed state in America. We don't need more taxes. We need to cut wasteful spending.
That said, I just got my first paycheck. DRAMATICALLY less this year. My problem is that I've grown accustomed to the finer things in life... like eating, paying rent, paying my car insurance... you know, the ritzy stuff....
If the prop doesn't pass, I'll make about 15% less this year.
Do what benefits me today or walk the walk I've been talking. Haven't decided yet.