As Gov. Pete Wilson prepares to balance the state budget on the backs of schoolchildren, he should be aware of the relationship between cuts in education, health care and job training, and the serious rise of crime in California.
There is a relationship between crime and lack of public services and it's expressed every minute of the day; we see it in the violence of drive-by shootings, in the highest percentage of incarceration for black males in the country, in the rise of teen-age pregnancy and even more tragically, in the growing numbers of cocaine babies entering the school system.
Wilson's support for education seems to stop at drug education, supporting an increase in the state sales tax if the revenue is used to fight illegal drug use, but the need for services extends far beyond a problematic war on drugs. The needs of the state are well-documented: schools that provide a quality education, a health system that works, job training programs to get teen-agers off of the street and away from the prison life that awaits them.
If Wilson prefers the tragic social ills affecting the state to an increase in the income tax, he has chosen the greater evil.