Prop Zero
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The Contradiction at the Heart of Meg's Campaign

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Meg Whitman's campaign says she is "committed to local control of schools." If that's true, then why is she building her campaign around protecting state control over local school district purse strings?

    Whitman has been relentlessly bashing her opponent Steve Poizner for having supported Prop 39, a 2000 ballot initiative which has probably done more than any other single measure or piece of legislation in the past 30 years to give local school districts more control over their own destiny.

    Prop 39 loosened the Prop 13 restrictions on raising local taxes for schools, by reducing the standard for passing a local school bond from 2/3 of voters to 55 percent. If you believe in real local control of schools, you probably believe in letting local voters and school officials figure out how much money they need, democratically.

    Instead, Whitman has argued for a total defense of Prop 13, even though it served as the greatest force for centralizing decision-making in Sacramento. Of course, defending Prop 13 isn't new for a Republican candidate (and Poizner has been trying to walk away from his Prop 39 support). But it's disingenuous at best for a candidate to pitch herself as a defender of Prop 13 and an advocate of local control. Meg, you have to choose.