Professor favors eliminating super majority required to pass budget

Story and photo by Russell Lindquist

Sociology Prof. Gregg Robinson at Teach-In

GROSSMONT COLLEGE—“Get motivated; get informed; and vote!”  Those were the words of Mary Rider, a counselor at the Transfer Center and  organizer of  Wednesday’s ‘Election Teach-in’ held in the Main Quad between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The focus was on what Rider said were propositions of importance to the education community–particularly Proposition 25, which would eliminate the requirement that state budgets receive a two-thirds vote of the Legislature before being sent to the governor for signature.

There were two co-sponsors for the event: the American Federation of Teachers, which is the labor union representing Grossmont College faculty and the Associated Students of Grossmont College (ASGC).

Sociology Prof. Gregg Robinson said eliminating the requirement that the state budget be passed by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, and instead permitting it to be passed by a simple majority could help to alleviate budget gridlock and thereby help schools.

According to Robinson, a super-majority requirement necessitates too much  compromise: “to get a budget through, many loopholes were created for several very rich corporations,” he asserted.

“California’s greatest expense is education: half of every dollar goes to education. … So half of every dollar gotten by way of a loophole is taken right from education.”

Robinson also said that cuts to welfare and daycare have important indirect effects on the state’s educational system “If kids have been underprepared before formal education, then that formal education will suffer,” he said.  “The poorest residents need access to healthcare, and the current proposals undermine that need.”

The professor  stressed that “times are hard for education across the country and particularly in our state.”

Among the most measurable problems for California’s education are, “decreasing class numbers, increased classroom density,” Robinson said.

Rider thanked Israel Morena, job site safety coordinator, for changing work schedules on the nearby Student Union  site so that the sounds of construction would not conflict with the outdoor public address system.

Lindquist is a student in Media Comm 132