Brown tackles teacher debt

One of the bad actors that worsened Stockton’s fiscal crisis was the state of California. And why did the state of California eliminate Redevelopment Agencies, take the city RDA’s money and take also the city’s share of state license fees?

Why did it take millions from a nearly insolvent city?

Because thanks to its fiscal mismanagement, the state is in debt, too. Nowhere is its debt more pronounced than with the California State Teachers Retirement System, or CalSTRS. CalSTRS is — wait for it — $74 billion short of the money it needs to fund pensions for teachers and administrators.

But Gov. Brown wants to use the state’s budget surplus start funding the teacher pension obligation. Kudos to him. As an aside, get a load of the way Edsource interpreted Brown’s fiscal responsibility.

“Gov. Jerry Brown is predicting that the state will take in $2.4 billion more in revenue in 2014-15 than initially estimated, but highly expectant education leaders won’t get a piece of it to implement the Common Core state standards or make a down payment for universal preschool,” the lede says. “They can count on the double-digit spending increase that the governor proposed in January  – but not much more.”

That reeks of the greed, parochialism and fiscal short-sightedness that compromised California and caused the state to kick Stockton when it was down.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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