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Reforming Proposition 13

By Mark Baldassare

In the current legislative session there has been a movement toward making changes in the Proposition 13 tax limits that voters approved in 1978.


Reforming California’s Initiative Process

About the Program
The popularity of California’s initiative process has endured for over a century. But according to a new PPIC report, state residents also believe improvements are needed. A panel of leaders—representing the three branches of state government—will discuss how the process is working and how to respond to the public’s desire for reform.

This project is supported with funding from The California Endowment and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

At Issue, Report

Reforming California’s Initiative Process

By Mark Baldassare

Californians are highly supportive of the initiative process but see room for improvement. Three steps to improve the process—connecting the legislative and initiative processes, increasing disclosure of initiative funders, and reengaging citizens in the initiative process—reflect Californians’ critiques and their desire to continue making laws at the ballot box. These reforms could have far-reaching consequences, with considerable promise for increasing citizen engagement, encouraging voter participation, and building trust in state government.

This research was supported with funding from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.


California’s Changing K-12 Accountability Program

By Paul Warren

California recently joined a number of other states in adopting the Common Core State Standards, which establish new criteria for what students should learn in school. It also joined a consortium of states to develop new tests based on those standards. The new standards are ambitious, and some teachers are concerned they are not prepared to convey the higher-level skills and concepts they contain. The new tests will allow the state to measure gains in each student’s achievement, creating new options for how the state ranks schools. The change will also prompt the state to reassess the value of state tests in high school and its options for holding secondary schools accountable. More changes to the state’s accountability program are likely when Congress reauthorizes the federal education law, and the way the state addresses these current issues will influence the shape of its future accountability program.

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