She has little chance of winning, but I’m glad to see Katherine Welch running for a seat in the legislature.

Over the last few years, Welch has been one of a few lonely voices pointing out that fixes to schools and school budgets – particularly via highly touted ballot measures like Prop 30 (the temporary tax increases in 2012) or Prop 2 (the so-called rainy day fund in 2014) – don’t actually do the things they’re supposed to do. Her group Educate Our State was just about the only entity pointing out the flaws of Prop 2.

In the process, she has offered an important challenge to the notion that California puts its children first.

In point of fact, it doesn’t.

So she’s running for an open Staet Senate seat in the Bay Area – on a platform of actually putting children and schools first. Talking about children distinguishes no one – all politicians do it. So it will be interesting to see if Welch can somehow cut through the clutter and make clear how different her message is. She has pointed out that all the architecture that is supposed to protect children and schools – from Prop 98 to these more recent measures – isn’t working.

Indeed, she is one of the few to frame it correctly. Many measures that are supposedly about the children act as funding diversions. And so we get an architecture of frustration: Californians pay high taxes, but have low school funding. And politicians of both parties try to explain this discrepancy by offering scapegoats – from immigrants to unions.

Prop 30, for example, was sold as helping education but was linked to budget and constitutional changes that in the long-term tend to divert funds away from schools. She also made an issue of how Prop 2 actually limited the rainy day funds of local school districts.

Welch faces stronger, better-known candidates. When she reached out recently, I told her she was nuts to consider running. But perhaps she can get some attention—and get people to realize that California has come up with all kinds of ballot measures and formulas that purport to support schools. But California is still lousy at actually supporting schools.