Tracy teachers take on Proposition 32
by Joel Danoy
Oct 05, 2012 | 6212 views | 28 28 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Educators rally against Prop. 32
Tracy High’s Dean Reese (left) his wife Sophy from Monte Vista Middle School along with Kimberly Smith also from Monte Vista Middle School try to rally support against Proposition 32 on the corner of Tracy Boulevard and 11th Street on Wednesday, Oct. 3.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Teachers typically do the majority of their teaching in the classroom.

However, about 20 teachers from the Tracy Educators Association took to the intersection of Tracy Boulevard and 11th Street for two hours Wednesday, Oct. 3, to spread the word about California Proposition 32.

If passed, the measure, which appears on the Nov. 6 ballot, will ban political contributions to state and local candidates by unions and corporations; outlaw political donations by contractors to politicians who control contracts awarded to them; and eliminate automatic payroll deductions by corporations, unions and government employees that are used to support politics.

While the measure is aimed at stopping special-interest money from entering politics, Julie Escobedo, vice president of T.E.A., said that organized labor in California “will essentially be over” if Prop. 32 passes. The T.E.A. is the local chapter of the California Teachers Association.

Many of the participants Wednesday held red “Vote NO on Prop 32” signs, while others carried their own handwritten slogans. Similar rallies were held simultaneously in Stockton and Manteca by those cities’

respective teachers unions.

“It’s a union-cracking measure, because it’s a crippling measure that will leave us will no voice as a union,” Escobedo said. “All the public unions will be impacted. The kind of lobbying that CTA can do, they have guaranteed our retirement system, our working conditions and education rights, but if this passes, we would be reduced to nothing.”

Supporters of the proposition paint the measure as a broad stroke against special-interest power.

The official argument in favor of Prop. 32 quotes retired California Supreme Court Justice John Arguelles as arguing, “Prop. 32 ends corporate and union contributions to California politicians. Period. No exceptions. It goes as far as the U.S. Constitution allows to end special interest influence in state government.”

But Kimberly Smith, a sixth-grade teacher at Monte Vista Middle School, said teachers are already at a disadvantage, because of growing classroom sizes and dramatic cuts to district budgets.

According to Smith, she has spent about $500 since the start of the school year buying essential supplies for students because Tracy Unified School District allotted no money for classroom budgets.

“As soon as teachers lose their voice, we lose education and we lose the purpose of education,” she said. “They want to take away some of the union gripes so the union isn’t as strong. How are we going to advocate for students? With cuts and no money for a budget, we are already at a disadvantage. It will only get worse without a teachers union.”

Davida Bellomo, a first-grade teacher at Jacobson Elementary School, believes Prop. 32 “attacks the little man who becomes part of a union and says they don’t have the same voice as the super PACs (political action committees), which are all the rich guys.”

“The rich guys who own the corporations are exempt from all this, so they can keep pouring money into all the campaigns they want,” Bellomo said. “The little guys have to organize to have a voice, and we want to feel like that voice is going to be heard, even if we don’t always agree on everything.”

Bellomo is most concerned because she feels there is a national movement to eliminate organized labor.

“There are certain interests that want to keep us (organized labor) from having a voice,” she said. “In other states, I think they’ve sat back and said, ‘It couldn’t happen here,’ but it could, and I think we are seeing that here in California.”

Escobedo said the teachers simply hoped to “raise awareness.”

“It’s very important that people understand the facts before they cast a vote,” she said.

Comments
(28)
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Romney4Pres
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October 10, 2012
by the way, the previoous comment below stated teachers make "90%" of the district expenses. This is also false: it is 54%, add special Ed teachers comes to a total of 64%. http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/App_Resx/EdDataClassic/fsTwoPanel.aspx?#!bottom=/_layouts/EdDataClassic/finance/Activity.asp?tab=3&reportNumber=4&level=06&fyr=1011&county=39&district=75499#expenditureByActivityPie

Romney4Pres
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October 10, 2012
You are wrong-- go do a bit of research. I did and was convinced to vote YES on 32 based on the ballot measure itself. Then I researched and found the lies! Here is a good place to start:http://www.mercurynews.com/elections/ci_21450949/reality-check-anti-proposition-32-radio-ad-is?source=pkg

""It's really a deceptive proposition stuffed with special exemptions for the oil companies, Wall Street and those secret campaign super PACs who want to rig the system." The ad concludes: "It's not what it seems."

Is it true?

The charge is true..."

Bird_Man
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October 10, 2012
I love that it is teachers out there holding these signs. This way, there is the impression that 32 is about education. That is too bad.

It's too bad that people don't pick up the books each person is mailed, or goes online to read - for themselves - what each proposition says.

I think for myself.

But since you are reading... YES on 32. Trust me.
Romney4Pres
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October 10, 2012
Those who are jealous about the lifestyle of a teacher need to observe the workload taken home daily by teachers.... look in the parking lots at their litle wheelie carts full of papers--everyday, or the laptops on their shoulders! They work weekends and nights-- don't be foooled unless you know a teacher first hand!

Further, the public HAS NEVER paid the teachers pension... districts have matched the funds contributed.

Prop 32 allows only the corporations and big business to lobby, and takes the worker groups out of the picture. Do you realy favor a society ran by big business?? Corporatism gave us this Greatest Recession and the Main Street Bailouts of our tax dollars. Should we REALLY turn education over to these entities?!?!?
Point_of_order
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October 11, 2012
It's not jealousy about the lifestyle of a teacher- it's fed up with the martyrism of teachers.



You knew the wages when you went in- so quit complaining!

Every one does extra work at a job, if they care.

Everyone picks up supplies when they're lacking.

Everyone puts in extra hours of work after the clock.

Romney4Pres
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October 10, 2012
Prop 32 will take educators out of the lobbying picture. Educators are an important contributor to the discussion of what is best. Allowing only the corporations to take over will mean we will have less transparency and our public dollars will be used for profit. Unions indeed maynot be all good, but the long history of the need to protect teachers from abuse is solid. Many charters (non union) do not allow teachers to take a lunch (exempted from the labor code--unlike the protections afforded each of us!). Charters also do not have publicly available budgets or minutes. They fire at will-- which means a bad administrator can have a very negative effect on a classroom and school enviornment. Do you enjoy due process notices before termination, such as a "write up"? These are true examples, and therr are many more, of what goes on here in Tracy at our Charters! Unions protect such abuse.
T1ck
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October 08, 2012
Only unions collect dues through payroll deductions NOT corporations. There is a system with in every union that governs the tiny percent of the dues that go to politics and every member has the right to opt out. However, The language in Prop. 32 continues to state that even if money is collected through voluntary practices the union cannot use the money for any political purpose or communicate with their members regarding politics. Second the language of prop. 32 states it will stop pay to play. It only stops it during the bidding process, than corporations can go back to giving moneys. It doesn’t stop Corporate Super PAC’s, Wal-Mart, which is not a corporation, Anti union Billionaire CEOs, or 501 4c non profits that don’t even have to report to the FPPC who gave them money. Even the Chamber of Commerce can give unlimited amounts of money to their special interests. Let’s talk Chamber of Commerce, their attorneys and members attend every MSHA, OSHA or CAL OSHA hearing I have every attended fighting to stop or repeal health and safety laws that protect workers. Yeah , that’s the folks I want to decide my working conditions and pay. Screw Prop 32
princesaportuguese
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October 05, 2012
90% of Tracy Unified's budget goes to employee costs. Guess they want to make it an even 100% huh?
Point_of_order
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October 05, 2012
Prince- that's not really this issue...

Prop 32 is about payroll deduction for unions for representation. I don't see that teachers have dangerous working conditions like coal miners.

Teachers demand respect, high pay and are upset about this being a "Union breaking issue". Their full day is 7.5 hrs and a full year is 183 days
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 05, 2012
Point_of_order

While this is true on th face of it it's not really true in practice. Fer some teachers it's exactly as ya say an yes Tracy has some of those. Fortunately though they are in th minority as most teachers spend a lot more than an 8 hour day dealin with classroom issues.

Furthermore, many of th teachers spend thair own time an money on continued certifications an methodologies they larn ta help em teach students more effectively an efficiently.

It's wrong ta hold all of em in th same light because not all of them are guilty of just providin th minimum necessary fer them ta continue in thair job.

It's pretty easy ta tell who these teachers are, if ya take th time ta really look. Usually, but not always, they are th teachers th preponderance of th students in th school like an admire.

But yer correct, thair are some who teachin is only a job an they only put forth th minimum effort necessary in order ta complete that job.

Stand out fer a couple of weeks next to the faculty parkin lot of yer local school an watch what happenes immediately after th bell endin classes fer th day rings. That will be a pretty good indication of th dedicated teachers who put thair students first an those that are in it just fer th money.

An speakin of money. Ya must be muddleheaded if ya can attend an pass all th classes an certifications that allow ya ta teach an ya can't get yerself a better payin job than ya can get by teachin. That alone brings in another element besides pay fer one ta consider ta be a teacher.

Teachers, with thair education, get less than half of what they could get with th same education outside of th teachin environment.

Five ta six years of college an ya start out in th $30 ta $40 thousand dollar per year bracket in school when ya could enter th corporate job market an easily bring in $60 ta $90 thousand per year?

Not to hard ta figure out that most teachers are doin it because they wanna help an teach children instead of just bein thair fer th money.
tracyresdnt
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October 05, 2012
Glad this is on the ballot. Voting Yes! Where do I get my yard sign?
TracyResident10
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October 05, 2012
It's always easy to vote. Just look at what the teacher unions want in California and vote the opposite. Nothing the unions want is in the public's best interest or our kids. CTA has said that they represent the teachers and not the kids. Like TracyRAP said the biggest problem with education is their unions and the death hold they have on us and our kids. And never believe that all teachers believe in what the CTA and NEA says but they are forced because they have no say in how the money is spent and to who.
Point_of_order
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October 05, 2012
Teachers want it both ways; be treated as a professional and then picket, strike and unionize like labor. Whioh is it?

CTA is bankrupting California.

Vote no on 32
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 05, 2012
So ya wanna side with these teachers ta maintain th union status quo? Frum yer negative comment regardin CTA I would have though ya would vote yes.

Wanna make that a yes on 32 instead of th no ya indicated? Sorta confused here with yer no vote.
Point_of_order
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October 05, 2012
opps- vote YES on 32!

TracyResident10 has it right; vote the opposite of the teachers union.

YES on 32!
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 05, 2012
Point_of_order

Glad we cleared that up cus I wouldn't want ya ta vote one way when ya really intended ta vote another.

Hey, it's easy ta get confused on th issues which is why it's so important ta understand em so ya can avoid such mistakes.
jimf01
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October 05, 2012
Some good information on why you should VOTE YES ON PROP 32

http://www.stopspecialinterestmoney.org

#votersnotdonors
jimf01
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October 05, 2012
Why do we have REPEATED one sided treatment of important issues in the Tracy Press??????

Was it impossible to find any supporters of Proposition 32 in Tracy?

I would like a response from the reporter or the editor of the Tracy Press!! !!!!!!!!
Bird_Man
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October 05, 2012
Very much a yes here on 32. And I am voting no to both 30 and 38. Those are the competing tax intiatives.

Wish TP could have some sort of poll site where we frequent visitors could just register how we think we will vote today on those initiatives that are on this November's ballot.
TracyRAP
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October 05, 2012
Definitely a yes.

The biggest problem about our eduction system IS THE UNIONS.
walkingtall
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October 05, 2012
Heck yea vote yes. One of the problems with the education system is the Unions. We all have either had teachers or have kids that have or had teachers that have no business teaching, yet there lovely little union which by the way has so much power it not even funny, protects them. Why should teachers have a job for life, I don't have a guaranteed job for life. Earn a living or lose it! Unions are not in it for the teachers or the students, they are in it for themselves. Vote Yes on 32!
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 05, 2012
It's gettin a yes frum me. Givin contributions ta politicians who have dealins with contracts that directly affect ya is not a contribution but a bribe. Bribery an political payback favoritism has no place in politics an government.

What, we gonna let politicians walk inta bars an buy votes by buyin drinks fer voters? It happened in history on more than one occasion. No ta unions givin pac money collected en mass frum teachers as a part of th dues they are forced ta pay. Fer one all members of th union don't feel th same way about politicians. Why should thair monies be given by thar union ta politicians they might not support otherwise?

In fact, I am willin ta take it one step further an ban PACs all tagether an go back ta a simpler form of politics by actually tellin th voters what ya intend ta do in office rather than back room agreements with PACs supported by unions.
AverageBri
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October 05, 2012
Oh, we understand the facts. The fact is more and more of OUR tax dollars get thrown at education (given to unions) and the results continue to get worse and worse.

For the kids? Gimme a break. Unions need to stay out of the education business and teachers / schools need to be results oriented. If test scores go up (and drop out rate goes down), you get rewarded with more pay and get to keep your job. If scores go down (and drop out rate goes up) you lose your job and kids get to go to a better performing school. Simple performance/reward based systems work every time they're tried.

You guys want the guaranteed pay out (from politicians the unions grease) with nothing tied to your performance, and its the kids who suffer.

YES ON PROP 32!
Mom07
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October 05, 2012
You definitely have valid points but let me suggest that test scores are not a good way to "reward" teachers. I am a teacher and a mom and success depends on the teachers and parents working together. If would be unfair to punish a great teacher in a low income school (or any school) if his or her test scores didn't "meet" criteria. Maybe the student never showed up to class or didn't care about their education and their parents didn't either. Drop out rates go up?? Where are the parents responsible in any of this? Just a thought.
Point_of_order
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October 05, 2012
To Mom-

how do you suggest a teacher is evaluated?

If not test scores, what other tangible measure is there?
Mom07
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October 05, 2012
We are evaluated- principals or VPs are in our room evaluating us. We have district employees walking through our room evaluating us. We collect data on student assessments and turn it into the district. I just dont think our "raises" should depend on how the students do on state testing. And my students test scores have improved each year- but I still don't think that's the right answer. I've been lucky to have supportive parents and motivated students but that hasn't always been the case. Im not saying vote No or vote yes on any one proposition. I am suggesting that we all look at the whole picture. I do see both sides- but I assure you without parent support (making sure your child goes to school, completes their homework, communicate with your child's teacher, etc), it's a lose-lose for all.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 05, 2012
Mom07

Without a doubt parents do need ta be held accountable fer thair kids in this. An, ta th State's credit, it seems they are finally crackin down on this at least in one area.

That area is attendance. If a child doesn't attend a cartain amount of classes durin th year th parent of that child is held accountable under truancy laws that are finally bein implemented.

No doubt ya have heard of th case where a mom was fined a jailed because she didn't see to it that her two elementary school aged children attended school an they had collectively missed somethang like 160 days of school in one school year.

An it seems ta have worked in this one case cuse th report is th children are now regularly attendin school whair before they were not.

I do like th fact that teachers are evaluated but let's be honest, who evaluates th teachers an what criteria do they use or not use in order ta keep th schools fundin an continuin ta educate children?

It's awfully easy ta look at truancy issues simply as a dollars an cents issue ta th school because th student failed ta attend class.

Which is th greater importance, th attendance an education of th student or th student's attendance ta enable th school district ta get th ADA money paid by th state fer th student's attendance an alleged education?

An while th parents should communicate with th teacher, I shall also put th onus of communication back on th teacher as well, especially at th elementary school level. It's a little more complex in middle school an High School but assumin that most students are not a problem an only a few need a little more special attention, it's not all that difficult fer a teacher ta get in touch with th parent when somethang is aery.

My children are grown an out of school but I had some of th same problems they are experiencin taday with th teachers of my grandchildren.

Havin parent teacher meetins is a good place ta start. An when thairs a significant problem it's not unreasonable fer teachers ta initiate such meetins either. I simply cannot tell you how many times I told my children's teachers, "If ya have any problems with my kids, let me know an we can work on it tagether," only ta find out later, after grades came out, that th teacher simply let th problem continue without lettin me know so that I could correct th problem.

If every kid was a problem I could understand it but you an I know that not every kid is a problem and it's th kids on th fringe that are th problem.

Still, I concur, direct, proactive parental involvement is extremely important an is a must fer th responsible parent that really cares about his or her children an thair overall wellbein.

Kids are kids an will get away with th thangs we adults let em. It was that way when I was a kid an it's true of kids taday.

Unfortunately I am of th sad opinion that far too many parents wanna be their children's friends before they wanna be their children's parents.

Love isn't just getting along with them love means that if ya gotta crack em in th butt at times ta get em ta do th right thangs ya do it.

Might not be popular in taday's society but it don't mean that taday's society of lookin at th education of children is correct either.

Me? I'm a still votin no on this proposition. Fer one it ain't as much on educational issues as it's stuff ta get someone elected an that someone frequently is not th person that teachers would support on an individual basis.

If ya wanna support a candidate fer yer own reasons it's fine with me. But when ya do it as a group an thair exists members within that group that wouldn't do it individually thair a problem thair an it needs ta be stopped if fer no other reason than th benefit ta th children yer tryin ta teach in th first place.

In my opinion unions shouldn't support political candidates, they should represent an support teachers, all of em.

Teachers then can devote thair time an energies inta teachin students an concentrate less on politics.

A win all th way around.

Yes on prop 32.

Sorry if yer of a different train of thought but I am open fer discussion. Who knows, ya might sway my thoughts an get me ta change my vote.

Thanks fer offering yer slant on this thang.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 05, 2012
Mom07

So sorry, in th fifth paragraph it should read "who evaluates th evaluators" an not "who evaluates th teachers." I already know who evaluates th teachers. Sorry about that.


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