A dogfight in California

It's a no-rules steel cage match to the death in California, pitting the California Teachers Association against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Union members are expected to approve a proposal to increase member dues by $180 over three years, a levy that will add a staggering $54 million to the $11 million war chest the union has assembled to fight the Governor's education proposals. CTA plans to postpone every project that is not "absolutely necessary" and is warning teachers that Schwarzenegger's plans put careers and retirements in jeopardy. The union opposes his support for teacher merit pay, even in light of strong public approval. It opposes his legislation to reform the calcified tenure system. And it opposes what it calls massive cuts in education, even though education spending is actually increasing. But don't expect the Governator to roll over. He is fighting back with a series of new ads touting his reforms. Should be an exciting summer.

"Governor rolls out TV ads that tout reforms for education," by David M. Drucker, Inside Bay Area, March 18, 2005

"Putting students first," by Margaret Fortune, Voice of San Diego, March 10, 2005

"Teachers union wants dues raised," by Alexa H. Bluth, Sacramento Bee, March 19, 2005

"Rewards, not tenure," Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2005 (subscription required)

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