Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Sunday, Jun. 29, 2014 – 12:00 am

Who sees to it that California’s 6 million K-12 students receive solid educations?

Who ensures that California has an adequate supply of reasonably priced electric power?

Who oversees Californians’ access to health care, now the state’s largest single economic activity?

Who’s responsible for collecting $200 billion a year in state and local sales, income, excise and property taxes?

Who controls resources for the nation’s largest court system to resolve criminal and civil conflicts?

Who controls the flow of that most precious commodity, water?

In other words, whom do we hold politically accountable for the public and private services that are utterly vital to our personal, collective, social and economic well-being?

Don’t know?

Don’t feel ignorant because, really, no one knows. Jurisdiction for these and many other aspects of modern life have been diffused among so many agencies that even the most astute observer can be flummoxed.

Public education? Is it the governor, the Legislature, the state superintendent of schools, the state school board, the local superintendent and school board, or the county superintendent and school board?

All hold some responsibility, but the lines are very blurry. When something positive happens, everyone claims credit, but when things go awry, the buck is quickly passed around.

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