12/20/2011 by Delaine Eastin

GPAA brings strategic thinking and foresight back to budgeting

I am struck that two generations coming out of a Great Depression and a world war were generous to education from kindergarten to college.  Now our state is rich because of the vision of previous generations but we are letting education collapse.

We need to invest in our future generations as the past generations invested in us. Only then will our state thrive. To do this, we must support governance and fiscal reforms to allow voters to support education, such as those in the California Forward Action Fund’s Government Performance and Accountability Act (GPAA). 

Shame on a state with Cadillac prisons and jalopy schools.  For too long the schools have been dropping in per pupil spending while prisons are number one in per prisoner expenditures in the nation. I know no one who would make that choice consciously.

The state of California is in a continuing crisis because of the failure to think long term.  No serious organization or corporation is so short-term in its thinking as is our state.  We are like the buggy whip company planning expansion because that motorized vehicle called the automobile will never catch on.

It’s time to end this lack of foresight and think deliberately about how we use our finite resources, to ensure that we leave to our children and grandchildren a state as strong as our parents and grandparents gave to us.

In this time of economic challenges and intractable governance, it is more important than ever to develop more strategic thinking about budgeting in CA. The reforms proposed in the Government Performance and Accountability Act – performance-based budgeting, multi-year bugeting, and pay-as-you-go – do just that.

Delaine Eastin is former California Superintendent of Public Instruction

Categories: Governance Reform, Selected Blog Posts, Civic Engagement

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