November 7, 2020
This week, we gather some of California’s smart observers to talk about the election and its impact on schools.
Pedro Noguera, dean of the USC Rossier School of Education, who debated Prop. 209’s creator Ward Connerly 24 years ago, shares his thoughts on why voters didn’t rescind it in voting down Prop. 16 this week. He discusses what can be done to further the goals of more inclusive college admissions without affirmative action. And he diagnoses why Prop. 15, which would increase taxes on commercial properties, is behind in the vote.
Also discussing Prop. 15 are supporters Ryan Smith, chief external officer for the Partnership for LA Schools, and Jeff Freitas, president of the California Federation of Teachers. They agree that the energy of the community coalition behind Prop. 15 can be channeled for future tax campaigns even if this one falls short.
School consultant and finance expert Bob Blattner advises school districts not to count on federal aid to get them through a potentially bleak coming year — while expressing hope that a Biden administration and Congress may funnel significant stimulus aid to schools.
And Jessica Ramos, student board member of Oakland Unified, shares how she and others managed a successful campaign to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections — and the difference it may make in their education.
For background on this issue, check out the following:
- Unclear ballot language, lack of time to connect with voters explain affirmative action loss, backers say
- Dropping affirmative action had huge impact on California’s public universities
- California’s Proposition 15, to raise commercial property taxes, in tight race
- Quick Guide: Proposition 15, the proposed ’split-roll’ tax on commercial property
- Biden’s exhaustive education agenda — and Trump’s skimpy one — get short shrift during long campaign
- California student activists push to lower voting age to advocate for change