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Alameda County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter


By Mary Hayashi

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 18; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate

In order to secure California's future economy, we must support the growth of a highly-skilled and well-educated workforce.

I will be an advocate for public schools and call for more efforts to provide a quality public education for our children. Spending per pupil in California lags that of the US as a whole. California's teacher salaries are the lowest among the five most populous states and California ranks 32nd nationwide when teacher salaries are adjusted for regional cost of living. The state also has the fourth highest pupil-teacher ratio in the nation. California has consistently spent less on education than the US over the past decade.

I support the preservation of the minimum public school funding guarantees provided by Proposition 98. I believe that additional funding, above the Proposition 98 guarantee is necessary for compensation, health benefits, class size reduction, instructional materials, professional development, and school support personnel such as librarians, counselors, and nurses.

In addition, I will be a strong advocate of safe schools, and I believe that we must do more to ensure the safety and well-being of our children. I would support safe school programs in a variety of areas, including environmental and CalOSHA enforcement, mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, as well as community partnership programs designed to involve parents, law enforcement, non-profit organizations, health care clinics, and students in promoting safe schools. Also, I want to ensure that higher education is accessible and affordable, especially at community colleges and trade schools that are vital for increasing access to opportunities and a better quality of life for many California residents. California's community colleges comprise the largest college system in the world with 107 colleges, 71 separate districts, 1.5 million students, and a $3.2 billion budget, providing job training in 11 of the 12 largest anticipated growth occupations. Statistics show that 10% of all U.S. college students attend a California community college, and two out of every three California community college students are enrolled in a vocational or job training class. Despite the critical link between these schools and California's productivity, the Legislature increased community college fees by 135%, forcing over 300,000 students to drop out.

I believe that we must make public education a priority, and invest more resources into both primary and secondary schools, as well as in higher education. We must help underperforming schools, not punish them, and reduce class size by building schools and increasing the availability of qualified, well-compensated teaching professionals.

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