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See saw with yes on one side and no on the other, balanced.
Beyond the ballot measures raising the minimum wage in Albuquerque and San Jose and raising wages for hotel workers in Long Beach, there was mixed news for workers, unions, and schools on the ballot measure front.
  • In California, two labor-related measures went the right way. Voters passed Proposition 30, which raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent and institutes a 1/4 cent sales tax to fund schools and public safety. They also rejected Prop. 32, which would have limited unions' ability to raise money for political purposes, leaving corporations and billionaires virtually unchallenged in state politics.
  • There was also good news in Idaho, where voters strongly rejected laws that promoted online education (which would funnel profits to companies that backed Idaho Superintendent of Public Education Tom Luna, who pushed these laws), used test scores to evaluate teachers and hand out bonuses, and cut collective bargaining rights for teachers.
  • Michigan provided some mixed news. On the one hand, the state's anti-democratic Emergency Manager law was defeated. But on the other hand, the attempt to put collective bargaining rights in the state constitution was defeated, as was a proposal to improve conditions for home care workers and the people they serve. The defeat of the Emergency Manager law is a BFD, though.
  • The bad news is that charter school initiatives were passing narrowly in Washington and strongly in Georgia. Charter school proponents outspent opponents 17 to one in Washington thanks to money from billionaires like Bill Gates and Alice Walton, overcoming an electorate that had repeatedly rejected such measures in recent years.

And to end on a happier, though not ballot measure-related, note, Diane Ravitch highlights defeats for education villains in Colorado and Indiana.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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