Under the GOP plan, education spending would go up 3.8 percent this fiscal year, from $55.1 billion to $57.2 billion. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders back spending of $57.6 billion. So by any rational definition, what the Republicans are suggesting is a modest attempt to contain spending growth as part of an overall effort to bring spending in line with revenue.
Forget rationality from Democratic leaders. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez said “Republicans are asking for cuts that are way too deep,” and declared the GOP wanted to “eviscerate public education.” But Republicans are not asking for spending cuts – just holding the increase to 3.8 percent. Likening this to evisceration – the removal of a vital or essential part of something – is goofy. But in a Capitol dominated by the California Teachers Association, alas, it's unsurprising.
So a 3.8% increase is a deep cut that will "eviscerate public education". What's amazing is that in California, people take such idiocy seriously.
I like the little pun at the end of the editorial, which says that when considering math, the legislature should listen to the CPA and not the CTA.
Update: EIA (see blogroll at left) has slightly different numbers and a slightly different take on the situation. His point: Why is the CTA told the details about the "secret" negotiations, but the rest of California isn't?
Lawmakers shouldn't be having secret budget negotiations. Secret from whom? The rest of the legislature? The press? The taxpayers? But if they are secret, they should be secret from everyone. Californians didn't elect David Sanchez. California's teachers didn't elect David Sanchez. He was elected without opposition by some 800 teacher union activists who meet four times a year over a weekend.
Union bashing? Replace "education leaders" with "HMO directors" or "big box store executives" or "defense industry interests" and see if you still think this is the way government should be run.