Thursday, December 11, 2014

Who is the message aimed at?

The recipient is somewhat hidden
The president of the state senate, Kevin de León, penned an op ed which points to his own UC funding plan (the one that takes money from middle-class scholarships and reallocates it to UC).  He concludes with:

...When UC President Janet Napolitano issued her controversial proposal to raise tuition — which nearly every elected official in the state opposed, myself included — she challenged us to come up with our own solutions and a new way to educate more Californians more efficiently without just throwing money at the problem. Challenge accepted, Madame President. 

Full op ed at

Although the message seems to be addressed to Napolitano, it seems equally addressed to the governor. As we have noted in prior posts, what we have here is a negotiation, albeit at the moment not being conducted across a bargaining table. However, it is at least a three-way negotiation: UC and Regents, governor, and legislature - and possibly four-way if you divide the legislature into the two houses. De León's proposal seems more like a place-holder since it was crafted quickly and is exposed to the obvious criticism that it takes from one pocket and puts into another. Nonetheless, it is a proposal and thus signals that de León doesn't want the eventual deal to be just between UC and the governor. It also signals that whatever the governor puts into his budget message in early January, the legislature feels free to craft its own version.

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