Did you know? Bonnie Donovan
It’s unbelievable how recycled ideas keep being pitched. They didn’t work the first time through; in fact, they never work.
But because these ideas remain in the realm of the ideal with folks, because they sound good on paper and in theory, they keep getting presented, promoted, pushed.
The latest example is this debate over McKinley Elementary School adopting a bilingual language immersion campus by the end of 2027.
Well, it’s now being branded as a “dual-language” immersion program. A rose by any other name.
If your family moved to a major European country with school-aged children, and planned to live in that country, not a two-year college sabbatical program in Northern Italy, or a temporary engineering job in Germany, but a permanent stint, you’d probably be happy to put your students in a bilingual Italian-English or German-English school.
Kinder and gentler, right?
But a permanent move? Your instincts would tell you that full immersion makes the most sense. Let them learn the prevailing language early when it’s easiest to learn it, and let them become proficient in reading, writing, and most importantly, speaking the language of the country in which they would be operating.
Locally, we have 81% of the 769 respondents polled voting in favor of the program here at McKinley School. It would be a dual-language immersion campus by the end of 2027.
If you ask these 769 people what they know about the program, they will tell you that it sounds right. They think it sounds right. How much data and research have they perused? What do they really know about the long-term effects of bilingual education?
Ask any high school English teacher in California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas what they know about bilingual education. Not what they think about it.
They will tell you that high school students educated in primary ed bilingual programs fall far behind their counterparts who were educated in full immersion programs during these vital formative years.
These bilingually educated students read, write, and speak far below grade level.
Because of their lack of English proficiency, their broader academic interest also lags behind full immersion students resulting in reduced college success, which translates into reduced life opportunity and success within the prevailing culture.
Another warmed-over misguided idea that did not work the first time it was introduced nearly four decades ago, and it won’t work now, for exactly the same reasons.
Recently, on the front page of the News-Press, Mayor Cathy Murillo shows up, leading a small group of fellow socialists campaigning for “Medicare For All,” aka Assembly Bill 1400, which is a proposal for a state monopoly to take over the health care funding and delivery for 40 million Californians. Hence, those who have health care as members of Medicare or who pay for private insurance, will lose those coverage into a funding pool to provide for all.
Inevitably, this means a downgrading of delivered health care through rationing, because there will not be enough money to pay for the same, existing standards for everyone.
Let us examine existing federal Medicare, on which AB 1400 is based. The number of people enrolled in Medicare is 61,669,894. The future federal government liability to provide the current level of service to these 61.7 million enrollees, is $32,803,600,500,000.
This $32.8 trillion is growing rapidly — by the minute.
In 2020, before the national COVID-19 epidemic became fully apparent, the Medicare Board of Trustees forecast that on the then current trends, Medicare would start to run out of money in 2026.
However, more recently, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group, estimated that because of the deficit of payroll taxes due to business shutdowns and a temporary cancellation of payroll tax, all a result of the pandemic, the Medicare Trust fund has been depleted by a lack of financial input and increased Medicare expenses. Their estimate is that the Medicare Trust Fund will start to become insolvent by early 2024. It’s projected Medicare will be able to fund only 90% of current medical costs.
As Medicare covers only 80% of approved medical costs, it means that the coverage would fall in the first year for a $1,000 medical bill from $800 to $720 and reduce more each year unless fundamental changes are made to how Medicare is funded and operates.
Take the current, future federal liability costs for 61.7 million federal Medicare enrollees of $32.8 trillion and apply it proportionately to the “CalCare” proposal to provide “Medicare For All” to 40 million Californians. The state of California will incur a proportionate, future liability of $21.3 trillion in future costs. The difference between the federal government incurring this size of liability, is that the federal government can and does print money, whereas the state of California cannot print money.
Furthermore, the annual budget for the state of California is only $138 billion and is based on a very narrow tax base that tends to fluctuate with stock market changes. However, medical costs are always on an inevitable upward path.
“CalCare,” if passed, with the estimated future liability of $21.264 trillion, will dominate the costs’ structure and the financial future of the state of California. The private sector and employment will be damaged by increased taxes and the migration of the middle class and wealthy out of California will accelerate.
Who in their right mind would vote for AB 1400? The uninformed and the people with nothing to lose. What are these people thinking? They have the wherewithal to organize a protest, but no math skills.
How do they figure this will pencil out? A counterforce is needed against AB 1400 and the organizations and people who are promoting it. Look at the list. Democratic Socialists of America, aka Marxists. Physicians for National Health Program. Healthcare for All-California. Progressive Democrats, Democrats of America, and would you believe it? The Green Party of Santa Barbara County.
Who is against it? The recipients and payees of Medicare and the employees of companies who provide good health care coverage? The Republican Party of California, the party of deafening silence. Isn’t it time to call them out? Where are they?
“Dig the well before you are thirsty.”
— Matthew Kelley
Problems inherent in Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 10 were illustrated last week. Remember, both are housing bills, that destroy, and disrupt single family neighborhoods, through rezoning, pre-empting local control and discouraging any investment in a subdivision. The bills are similar and confusing but possibly are an attempt to be a safety net should one of them fail.
Rishi Kumar of Silicon Valley, in the Palo Alto Daily Posts, said SB 9 and 10 are the kiss of death for neighborhoods. They allow “anything goes” construction and are a private developer’s dream.
He said, “Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 10, are geared to push housing on to cities in California. If SB 9 were approved, it would allow two units within each single-family lot without a hearing or environmental review. And with accessory dwelling units and junior dwelling units …. Six families could effectively be living on each of today’s single-family lots; the population in every city could grow six times….”
He continued, “…SB 10 allows city councils to overturn voter-approved ballot initiatives that protect open space and land; essentially, it allows cities to approve 10-unit MARKET-RATE apartments almost anywhere, regardless of zoning.
“SB 9 and 10 are an environmental disaster and will disrupt open space. They allow developers to circumvent environmental impact reviews and setback requirements, producing an urban concrete jungle! Our yards will become history, and the permeable surfaces that replenish groundwater will disappear under the footprint of massive buildings. These bills do not mandate affordable housing, nor will they create trickle-down, equitable affordable housing.
“It is purely a myth that if we increase housing supply, rents will drop, or homes will become affordable. Are developers interested in market economics that will drop housing prices? Has this happened anywhere before?”
It bears repeating: those in charge from local, state, to federal are pushing a one size fits all in many arenas.
What is wrong with diversity? Everyone does not want to live in multi-family housing. Some want their own yards and have worked diligently to accomplish it.
Nothing is wrong with the American Dream! Our elected officials, focused on their solutions and their opinions are what we will live with, unless we do something about it and stand our ground to protect our world. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain: Sen. Scott Wiener who said he looked at housing as a “utility.”
Pay heed to the League of California Cities’s opposition to SB 9 and many new citizen groups that have organized in opposition. Individuals and organizations must be making calls now to their senators. There should be no doubt in your senator’s mind where your community stands. The full vote of the Senate will be sometime the first week in May.
Mobilize your neighbors and friends. Other cities’ officials are writing Sacramento in protest to this life altering legislature. Where are our elected officials in protecting our neighborhoods and our homes? Where are the environmentalists who proclaim to care about the paradise we call home? Last week was the week of Earth Day for heaven’s sake!
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
— Albert Einstein
Rather than re-apply failed theories and practices, what could happen if we exercised our imaginations more and came up with new workable solutions?