The California Budget Implosion

A quick personal plug: I am now blogging at the New Majority, a blog run by conservative writer David Frum.

A few days ago, I posted on the website about Proposition 98, a California law that requires that around 40% of the state budget goes to funding education.

Here is my main point:

Prop 98 is a leaden monument to the influence of California’s teachers’ unions.  In the late 1980’s, these unions couldn’t get the legislature to do what they wanted, so they mobilized to sway California’s voters.  Their efforts, clearly, paid off. Teachers’ unions are one of the most organized and politically effective special interest groups in the Golden State. (For a good take on the distorted influence of teachers’ unions, read this op-ed by Stanford professor Terry Moe.) Prop 98 ensures that the union gets what it wants regardless of the state’s other concerns.

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