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Back to August Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 235 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS AUGUST 2005

Schwarzenegger Faces Off with Unions
Calls Special Election on Tenure, Funding
Californians will vote November 8 in a high-stakes battle between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and teachers unions.

The governor in June called a special election for this fall to decide several education-related initiatives bitterly opposed by teachers unions. One would change a constitutional provision guaranteeing school districts a minimum funding hike each year. The proposal would eliminate a requirement that the state repay money that was withheld by the governor in times of fiscal crisis.

A second initiative backed by Gov. Schwarzenegger would change the teacher tenure system to require teachers to work for five years (instead of two) to receive tenure. In addition, the plan would permit a teacher to be fired after receiving two consecutive negative evaluations. Firing a public school teacher in California is currently extremely rare and difficult. (See Education Reporter, Apr. 2005.)

A third initiative, not directly endorsed by the governor, would prohibit public employee labor unions (including teachers unions) from using members' dues for political purposes without annual written consent by the members. It is known as the Paycheck Protection Initiative.

Also on the ballot will be a constitutional amendment requiring parental notification before an abortion may be performed on a minor. This issue is of concern to parents in light of the varying policies of California school districts on parents' right to consent to off-campus medical services. (See Education Reporter, Apr. 2005.)


 
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