Convention News: Unexpected New Education Study

The LWVC Convention voted to adopt a new three year study of public education to include the previously studied Community College System and the never-before-studied University and State University systems. The state board had recommended that no new study be adopted, but after a very close count in which the study proposal was defeated by one vote, a call for reconsideration led to adoption of the study–by one vote. Now the proposers of the study will have six months to find funding to support this study.  In the photo, Sherry sherry-counting-votes-2Smith is on the right, helping count the very close vote. The study is a three year study in the sense that the first year or more will be spent finding money, establishing a committee and developing the materials that the local Leagues will use to study the issue.

 In addition the state League adopted as its Legislative Priorities for 2013: Money in Politics (Campaign Finance Reform) to support stronger campaign disclosure requirements, including higher penalties and stricter enforcement and other changes to the Political Reform Act that are in accord with League positions.

The second of the League’s top Legislative Priorities is State and Local Finances/State Budget/Education Financing to support improvement of and transparency in the state budgeting process and equitable and adequate generation and distribution of tax revenues

In addition, as a second tier of focus, the state board will consider Program Director recommendations for action on Protection of the California Environmental Quality Act–CEQA–Election reform and voting rights, Fracking, Water.

The Proposed Issues for Education and Advocacy 2013-15 are similar to the Legislative Priorities. These will direct where state and local League energy is directed for educating and actively advocating for these issues. Money in Politics tops the list;  Financing of Education from early childhood through high school comes second, with a special emphasis of maintaining the educational content and quality of all early childhood programs.

A second tier of focus will include Health care, particularly community education about the Affordable Care Act and continuing education and advocacy on a single payer option for California and Water in preparation for the expected water bond measure on the 2014 ballot.

The state League reminded members that the LWVUS Legislative Priorities for 2013 are Money in Politics and the many facets of Election Reform, so priorities on both state and national levels will be closely related.

LWVBAE’s six delegates at Sunday morning session were, from left, Pat Kuhi, Diz Swift, Janice Blumenkrantz replacing Sherry Smith, Sherry Smith–as member of the ballot counting committee–Carol Stone, Angharad Jones replacing Phyllis Gale,  and Nancy Bickel.

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