WatchSonoma Watch

State’s schools chief to stump for Prop. 30 in Santa Rosa


California Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson will be in Santa Rosa Saturday campaigning for a school funding ballot initiative and speaking to a conference of local school board members.

Torlakson will be the keynote speaker at the North Bay School Trustees Fall Symposium sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education. Torlakson’s talk on the November ballot initiatives on school funding, scheduled for noon, is open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session.

Tom Torlakson.

“Since most of the schools have decimated their staff development budget for trustees, we have been trying to host a series of topics to keep them informed and current and contemporary on issues,” said Steve Herrington, Sonoma County Schools chief of the third annual conference.

Torlakson also is scheduled to join about 50 members of the California Teachers Association at 10 a.m. to walk precincts and talk to voters in support of Proposition 30 and against Proposition 32, according to Helen O’Donnell, a California Teachers Association representative.

The campaigning is happening up and down the state in place of a scheduled quarterly state CTA meeting, O’Donnell said.

“It’s kind of a big deal,” O’Donnell said of canceling the two-day meeting in favor of campaigning.

Proposition 32 would ban corporations and unions from directly contributing to candidates. But the most controversial provision would prohibit the practice of political contributions through payroll deductions, the primary method unions use to raise political cash.

Proposition 30, supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, would raise sales tax rates .025 percent for four years, 2013 to 2016. It also would raise income taxes on incomes greater than $500,000 until 2018.

The current state budget was built upon the assumption that Proposition 30 would pass. If it does not, K-12 spending will be cut by $4.8 billion for the current school year, according to the California Budget Project, a nonpartisan group.

Proposition 30 is supported by the California Teachers Associations but the California PTA is backing a rival measure, Proposition 38, which would not change the sales tax rate but would impose a 12-year progressive income tax increase ranging 0.4 percent on annual incomes between $14,600 and $34,600, and 2.2 percent for incomes more than $5 million. Funds would not be available for the current school year.

Election day is Nov. 6.

(Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.)

13 Responses to “State’s schools chief to stump for Prop. 30 in Santa Rosa”

  1. Kris says:

    If California can’t lead by example then the US is in big trouble. This measure will get California on track for a balanced budget and improving the state of our opportunity machine, education!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  2. Manuel Delgado says:

    They want us to vote yes on 32. After what Santa Rosa City School District is trying to do, meaning, trying to sweep this problem with this special ed teacher that was hitting our son and allowing him to still teach….. HELL NO.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  3. Commonsense says:

    @Dan J Drummond,
    I’m not familiar with Dan A. Drummond or Mr. Sawyer (I live in Marin Co.), but I’m somewhat familiar with the public education system based on doing about a years worth of research into because I have a child who will begin attending school in about a year or so. I don’t really care about party affiliation, and don’t believe I brought it up in my original post.
    My comment was strictly based on the content of the article and raises issues with how things are currently being done and money spent. I’m more interested on how a person conducts themselves, then I am with what their party affiliation is, and I’m currently not impressed with Torlakson or for that matter much of what the CTA has been doing.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. 40 School Districts in Sonoma County says:

    and you want me to vote for increased funding for schools? Let me think…No.

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  5. bear says:

    95% of you are freeloaders and welfare queens. “Give me services I don’t have to pay for.”

    Except for a bloated defense budget and tax loopholes and subsidies for the rich and corporations.

    Not smart.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

  6. Public School Teacher says:

    As a local public school teacher I can tell you for a fact there is still plenty of wasteful spending going on in the public school that I work at. Vote NO on any tax increase.

    Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2

  7. James Bennett says:

    Search: Common Core curriculum and Agenda 21. There is much more awareness lately on this subject.
    Obama took the liberty of appropriating stimulus money to bribe all our governors into imposing these new “standards”. Without the benefit of a real outline in advance. Needing money, 46 states went for it. The parents, teachers and Congress were not asked. The teachers are being threatened with losing their jobs if they don’t go along.

    A local patriot and life long educator recently wrote a small booklet on the subject.
    Her name is Orlean Koehle. It’s called Common Core-A Trojan Horse for Education Reform.
    She can be reached at caleagle@sbcglobal.net
    The publisher is smallhelmpress@associates.org

    You will be upset when you learn what is and is not being taught, the globalist programming, all the collectivist indoctrination, the reduced standards and the $1.6 billion dollar bill we pay to impose it on the kids.

    This Program has LOTS of baggage that deserves to be checked.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  8. Skippy says:

    Not one more dime to the endless sucking maw of Big Govt.
    Every Agency and Bureau that is not completely shut down and abandoned should be cut by at least 1/2.
    What part of “unsustainable, delusional, addicted and hopelessly corrupt” do folks not understand about every level of Big Govt?

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4

  9. James Bennett says:

    Whenever we’re being worked over for more money they push the school button.

    More pools of unaccountable money they can appropriate to screw us.

    You could do a lot with those High Speed Rail billions. A LOT.

    Besides the cirriculum they force the teachers to implement is all that “Common Core” crap.

    That way they can indoctrinate our children to be amiable, dumbed down, serfs that don’t solve problems but do what they’re told. They can impose all their Gaia is God guilt and all their communitarian collectivist crap on ‘em young.

    Yes, Common Core is UN Agenda 21 implementation too.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  10. Snarky says:

    Vote “NO” on 30.

    In fact, its easy to fight back against the out-of-control local and state government.

    Vote “NO” on anything on the ballot that raises taxes or fees in any amount.

    The government types are buying themselves brand new vehicles, a brand new court house, and were caught with a SECRET bank account of $54 million dollars (state parks).

    And, then, the government threatens your kids with shorter school training so they can fund their own public employee pensions.

    Don’t be threatened. Vote “NO” on tax increases.

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

  11. Larry Lesh says:

    Both propositions want to raise taxes and that is something we hope that nobody wants or at least enough to vote down both of them. Long live prop 13.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  12. Dan J Drummond says:

    You’re just like Dan A Drummond of the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association. They recommend a NO vote on prop 30 and a YES vote on prop 32, just like the Republican Party of Sonoma County.


    After comparing these two sets of voter recommendations with the Sonoma County Democrats, I think the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association is more in sync with the Republicans.


    I noticed that the Republican Party of Sonoma County has listed John Sawyer as more in line with their platform.

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  13. Commonsense says:

    “Since most of the schools have decimated their staff development budget for trustees, we have been trying to host a series of topics to keep them informed and current and contemporary on issues,” said Steve Herrington, Sonoma County Schools chief of the third annual conference.” So am I to interpet this statment to mean that funds for staff development (taxpayer provided funds) include keeping members “educated” on clearly and solely political issues, not necessarily issues specific to teaching. UMM, could this be one of those examples of poor spending habits that have helped to create some of our financial issues??? And a perfect example of why we may want to think hard about voting no on 30.

    Also, What is the Super doing stumping door to door for a political cause?? Seems a little like a conflice to me. I don’t know if he’s a member of the CTA, but I do know that those in public service positions such as his should not be using that position for political campaigns (of any type). And also an example of why we should consider voting yes on 32.

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