The last time Californians faced a big voucher initiative was in 1993. Voters -- influenced in part by a lavish "no" campaign funded by the teachers unions -- rejected it by a 3 to 1 margin. Since then, however, polls have shown urban blacks and Latinos increasingly in favor of vouchers as a way to escape hopelessly dysfunctional school systems. Businessman Tim Draper says a universal voucher program will free kids trapped in schools that don-t work. Critics say his plan is a sop to the rich; that Draper-s ill-fated measure bungles a golden opportunity to really shake up the schools; and that the whole thing could spell disaster for the Republican party come November.
On Reporter's Notebook, an actual drop, however slight, in California's prison population. In the Newsmaker segment, LA's firefighter's union says paramedics are working 80 to 100 hours a week