In January 2010, the California State Legislature passed a school reform bill in an effort to qualify California for federal Race to the Top funds. The bill had widespread and bi-partisan support. The California Teachers Association (CTA) was a leading opponent of the bill and gave an average of $17,800 to each Senator who voted against it, during the 2006 and 2008 election cycles. This amount is 3.3 times as much as the average $5,344 that CTA gave to each Senator who voted in favor of the bill.
For the Assembly floor vote, CTA gave an average of $13,553 to each legislator voting against the bill, during the 2008 election cycle. This is 2.4 times as much as the $5,600 CTA gave, on average, to legislators voting Yes.
Many Democrats voted with Republicans to support the bill. The 7 Senate Democrats who voted No received 114% more from CTA than the 14 Senate Democrats who voted Yes. The 17 Assembly Democrats who voted No received 34% more from CTA than the 25 Assembly Democrats who voted Yes. All Republicans in both the House and Senate supported the bill.
Race to the Top (RTTT) is a competitive grant for billions of federal stimulus dollars. SBX5 1 was specifically intended to help California meet the criteria for RTTT, covering the four education policy reform areas: "standards and assessments, data systems to support instruction, great teachers and leaders, and turning around the lowest-achieving schools." On January 18, after SBX5 1 and a companion bill passed and were signed into law, Governor Schwarzenegger submitted California's RTTT application. Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability, noted that while California is among several states that passed legislation to help qualify, the state "didn't do enough." The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that California is not among the states that are finalists for Phase 1 of RTTT. The Governor pledged to keep pushing for reforms necessary to make California's application for RTTT competitive.
According to legislative committee bill analyses, organizations that opposed SBX5 1 include the Association of California School Administrators, California Federation of Teachers, California Labor Federation, California Nurses Association, California School Boards Association, California School Employees Association, California Teachers Association, and Californians Together. Among those, CTA has an especially powerful voice: it is the second-highest contributor to California legislators voting on this bill, giving more money between 2003 and 2008 than any corporation and more than every organization except the California Medical Association. In its position paper on RTTT, CTA argues against many of the RTTT criteria. The Los Angeles Times reported that the CTA urged local unions not to sign agreements that would make them implement the RTTT-related changes and that roughly 75% of teachers unions complied by not signing the agreement.
|Senator||Party||Vote on SBX5 1||Contributions from CTA|
|Hancock, Loni||Democrat||Not Voting||$27,800.00|
|Liu, Carol||Democrat||Not Voting||$14,400.00|
|Wiggins, Patricia||Democrat||Not Voting||$13,400.00|
|Negrete McLeod, Gloria||Democrat||Not Voting||$6,700.00|
|Harman, Tom||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Average received by all Senators voting Yes (27)||$5,344.44|
|Average received by Democratic Senators voting Yes (14)||$8,314.29|
|Average received by all Senators voting No (7)||$17,800.00|
|Average received by Democratic Senators voting No (7)||$17,800.00|
|Assemblymember||Party||Vote on SBX5 1||Contributions from CTA|
|Buchanan, Joan||Democrat||Not Voting||$14,400.00|
|Carter, Wilmer||Democrat||Not Voting||$14,400.00|
|De La Torre, Hector||Democrat||No||$14,400.00|
|De Leon, Kevin||Democrat||Yes||$14,400.00|
|Huber, Alyson||Democrat||Not Voting||$14,400.00|
|Perez, V. Manuel||Democrat||No||$14,400.00|
|Salas, Mary||Democrat||Not Voting||$14,400.00|
|Torres, Norma||Democrat||Not Voting||$14,400.00|
|Saldaña, Lori||Democrat||Not Voting||$7,200.00|
|Anderson, Joel||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|DeVore, Chuck||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Fletcher, Nathan||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Harkey, Diane||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Hernandez, Ed||Democrat||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Jeffries, Kevin||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Knight, Steve||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Logue, Dan||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Miller, Jeff||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Villines, Michael||Republican||Not Voting||$0.00|
|Average received by all members of Assembly voting Yes (45)||$5,600.00|
|Average received by Democratic members of Assembly voting Yes (25)||$10,080.00|
|Average received by all members of Assembly voting No (17)||$13,552.94|
|Average received by all Democratic members of Assembly voting No (17)||$13,552.94|
Top 10 Contributors to those serving in the 2009-2010 session of the California State Legislature
|1||California Medical Association||$1,637,923.85|
|2||California Teachers Association||$1,509,754.87|
|4||California State Council of Service Employees||$1,327,000.00|
|5||California Dental Association||$1,224,773.73|
|6||California Professional Fire Fighters||$822,757.16|
|7||California State Council of Laborers||$819,500.00|
|8||California Building Industry Association||$804,773.33|
|9||California Association of Realtors||$748,400.00|
|10||Farmers Insurance Group||$733,096.68|
Methodology for Contributions by Vote: Campaign contributions data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP), and includes state Senate and Assembly campaign contributions from the California Teachers Association. Date range of contributions: Senators include 2006 and 2008 election cycle contributions (January 1, 2005-December 31, 2008) coded by NIMSP as of January 21, 2010; Assembly totals only include the 2008 election cycle (January 1, 2007-December 31, 2008). Votes and bill analyses for SBX5 1 are recorded in the Office of Legislative Counsel's LegInfo database.
Methodology for Top 10 Contributions: Campaign contributions data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP), and includes state Senate and Assembly campaign contributions from all contributors. Date range of contributions: 2004, 2006 and 2008 election cycles (January 1, 2003-December 31, 2008) coded by NIMSP as of January 21, 2010.