Following the lead of the John Birch Society, “No on 227” campaign attacks proposed adult English literacy programs
As noted in the attached Sacramento Bee article, the “No on 227” campaign has shifted their election strategy, deciding to concentrate their fire on the new adult English literacy programs proposed by Proposition 227.
In a relatively minor section of the initiative, $50 million per year is allocated to local school districts to fund the establishment of adult English literacy programs open to both immigrants and the native-born. In fact, numerous reports and commissions have indicated that a substantial fraction of native-born Americans are functionally illiterate. Since bilingual education programs are estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year, using a fraction of those savings to fund adult literacy programs might seem an appropriate and innocuous measure. Adult literacy programs are seldom seen as politically controversial and $50 million amounts to $1.50 per California.
However, the current issue of The New American, the official publication of the John Birch Society, contains a ferocious denunciation of the adult literacy programs proposed by Proposition 227, portraying them as both fiscally irresponsible and part of a much larger conspiracy to subjugate whites and empower non-whites by raising taxes and destroying the economy.
Perhaps coincidentally, “No on 227” has now suddenly adopted a similar message, and decided to focus its attacks on the adult literacy provisions of 227, these being the worst aspects of the measure. Prop. 227 will be characterized in radio and television ads as a big government spending program, which harshly extracts twelve cents each month in tax revenue from every Californian, and irresponsibly uses such enormous sums to teach adults how to read and write.
Since the “No on 227” campaign is actually funded by California’s educational establishment (which spend total government revenues of nearly 40 BILLION each year), we may have at long last found an example of political consultants actually OVERestimating the gullibility of ordinary voters. We’ll find out on June 2nd.
On a more serious note, in the last week, excellent articles on Proposition 227 appeared in The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, and Reader’s Digest.