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Public Calls for Change As California Loses Population in Wake of Destructive Education, Economic Policies

(California Policy Center)—For the first time since the state’s founding, population shifts resulted in California losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this week, while freer states such as Texas and Florida increased their voice in Washington.

And is it any wonder?

This week alone, we saw union-funded politicians in Sacramento try to gut charter schools with Assembly Bill 1316, and fail to even consider a bill, AB 1484, that would have simply given teachers information about their union membership rights. California’s schools remain among the least-open in the nation (second only to Hawaii) with little hope that the situation will improve by fall. The California Court of Appeals dealt a massive blow to independent truckers, ruling they must be classified as employees under AB 5. Even Hollywood had a rough go, with fewer viewers tuning into the maskless Academy Awards show than ever before.

Perhaps now that their anti-people, anti-business policies are beginning to affect California’s voice in federal matters, state lawmakers will begin to rethink their ways. Disclaimer: We are not responsible for harm incurred by those holding their breath.

The public is clamoring to be heard. And considering California’s destructive policies, power-hungry supermajority, and behemoth unions makes victories like the ones achieved this week even sweeter. Last week, you may have read about the Desert Sand School District’s cowardly decision to cave to union demands and keep kids mostly locked out of class indefinitely. The board rejected a proposal to allow students on campus four days a week after the local teachers union said its members were too “exhausted” to have more students in class and threatened to file a grievance.

Parents said students couldn’t wait any longer and not only deserve and need to be in class, but can do so safely. So, they took to the streets. As many of us were heading out of work for the weekend, members of CPC’s Parent Union organized a group of over 100 parents, students, and even teachers to rally outside the district’s offices and urge them to stand up to the union, put kids first, and open schools.

The parents then took their message directly to the board during a special meeting Monday night. Parent Union ambassadors and students testified one after another for more than a half hour about why it was time for the district to put student needs ahead of union demands and reopen schools. They placed homemade signs with messages like “Zoom = Doom” and “Don’t be a fool, open my school,” in the chairs left empty between them for social distancing purposes.

In what can only be described as a David and Goliath moment, the board voted unanimously to reopen the schools! Parents were victorious over the union (which is still pouting about the return to work). On Monday, all students in the district will return to class, four days a week, thanks entirely to the dogged efforts of parents.

Parents in Los Angeles also secured a win for students, forcing the reopening of school playgrounds. A group of parents farther north, in Madera County, achieved a full reopening of schools after threatening the district with a lawsuit.

California’s government unions may feel like an unbeatable opponent, but this week demonstrated that parents and ordinary Californians can make a difference. Thanks to efforts like these, we have hope that the outcome of the next Census will be different.

Chantal Lovell
Chantal Lovell is the communications director for California Policy Center.

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