School Districts Celebrate Prop. 30's Passage

Local school districts officials say Gov. Jerry’s Brown’s tax increase saves schools from massive budget cuts, furlough days and shortened school years.

In a tight race, Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s tax increase, emerged victorious Tuesday night, saving schools from a $5.4 billion mandatory cut.

The measure earned 53.9 percent of the votes, despite trailing for most of the night. Aimed at funding for cash-strapped K-12 programs, the measure will temporarily raise the income tax for Californians making more than $250,000 a year.

In Glendora, school district officials let out a sigh of relief. Had the measure not pass, Glendora schools faced cuts of up to $3.5 million.

“It is fantastic for our kids, that they avoided another cut to their education,” said Glendora Unified Superintendent Dr. Robert Voors.

In the months leading up to the election, the likelihood of California voters approving a tax increase appeared grim.

Voors said the school district prepared to make the possible $3.5 million cut with furlough days and a shortened school year.

At Charter Oak Unified, schools braced for a possible $2.5 million cut. Superintendent Dr. Mike Hendricks said the academic year would have been shortened up to 15 days to make up for the deficit.

Starting Jan. 1, Proposition 30 will raise the state’s sales tax by a quarter of a cent for the next four years. Individuals who make $250,000 or more, and households that make $500,000, will see their income taxes rise 3 percentage points for seven years. The tax is expected to raise $6 billion for the state’s general fund and education.

But district officials say public schools are still not spared from future budget woes.

“This is not increasing funding for public schools. It’s only preventing a promised cut,” said Hendricks. “We are still way, way behind in funding levels from 2007-2008. We’re still operating at 20 percent less per student.”

Voors cited ongoing state deferrals and a 20 percent deficit factor facing schools.

“We are thrilled that we be able to offer a full year of instruction, but we still have concerns about the state’s ability to fund education adequately,” said Voors.

CLARK November 08, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Oh boy... You would think that educated people would read these props thoroughly so that they understand what they REALLY are. I am further surprised at the reporting of this and related stories as 'good news'. This simply serves to show the complete ignorance as well as the gross stupidity of the general public. Having read the entirety of prop 30, i discovered one simple line of text which reads as follows, (paraphrasing): 'The politicians may use the funds provided by prop 30 for ANY budget items in California that they wish to use it for.' Just for the sake of argument, I checked with several friends I know who have worked in the Cal. Gov's office in the past to make certain that I was interpreting this correctly. And... I was/am. Not only can they use the money from 30 to fund ANY other budget items that they wish, but the language in 30 allows them the option of NEVER using even one thin dime for education or schools! Brown included this language so that he could rightfully use this money to fund the unnecessary and unwanted new train line, as well as other things, including personal expenses. Bravo to all of you out there who are just that stupid as to not find out what you are really voting for!!!
Eric Smith November 08, 2012 at 04:44 PM
How is that possible when the bill specifically states there is a special fund established for education that explicitly mentions that the State legislature may not use the money for anything other than education (and that includes 12% for community colleges)? And by the way, for the consumer who purchases $100 at the local grocery store the additional tax will a whopping 25 cents to the bill.
MellowMaverick November 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I would like to see a neutral committee follow where the money goes from this Proposition. If it's funneled into places other than education, I think the public deserves to know.
Greg Peterson November 08, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Does the bill say sacramento's minons brown/legislature can not slash the states general fund allocation to education by what prop 30 adds to education? NO IT DOES NOT!, so you can bet your ass they will cut general funding to education by the amount that prop 30 contributes, thus no net gain for education. just like the lottery, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Eric Smith November 08, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I agree whole-heartedly. Accountability is essential. The money is to be used for education and education only. I will feel betrayed if it is used for anything else. The governor did his part in reducing the budget and certainly education has been slashed to the bone. I truly believe revenue was the only key ingredient to save our educational system. Ever since the reduction of property taxes ( a discussion for another time) we have had a difficult time meeting the needs of the budget. Unfortunately, it has come time to raise taxes on a few. The crux of this legislation is in the ability of the state legislature to uphold their word and honor and restore to education that which is guaranteed in the state constitution. We shall see...
Abby Ulm November 08, 2012 at 07:23 PM
To Eric Smith, you are misinformed. Obviously you only read the bill's description in the voter pamphlet, which was written by the bill's proponents and is full of half-truths. There may be a special education fund established but there's no language saying the prop 30 funds have to go into it, and Clark has already pointed out that Brown wrote in that little exemption allowing the legislature to use the funds for whatever they want. AND they can also say it was "used for education" if it goes into the teacher's pension fund (which is grossly underfunded right now because the fund managers grossly overestimated the stock market investment returns, but that's a completely different discussion). So the extra funds will go to teachers' pensions and other state budget items, Brown and his cronies will pat themselves on the back and say they helped education, and the actual schools will be no better off than they were before. And furthermore, the spend-wildly legislators are most certainly congratulating themselves because they found something that works - threaten to cut funding to education, and the voters will give you whatever you want. Back to spending as usual! WHO WANTS TO PLACE BETS ON HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE BEFORE THEY HOLD THE STUDENTS HOSTAGE AGAIN? Oh yes, they will do it again. They really think we're all that stupid.
Abby Ulm November 08, 2012 at 07:51 PM
The current tactics of this state's legislature are going to result in the Great California Exodus. The Golden State will become The Welfare State, because that's all who will be left living here.
Eric Smith November 08, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Well at least it will be easy to get around on the freeways... And no I read the italicized text of the proposition as well. Although I admit it does get cumbersome and legaleezish(?) but in that text it does mention the fund for education and that the legislature cannot touch it. Now there might be some loophole that I did not understand - but, we shall see. Here is the text directly from the act: (e) (1) To ensure that public education is not harmed in the process of providing critical protection to local Public Safety Services, the Education Protection Account is hereby created in the General Fund to receive and disburse the revenues derived from the incremental increases in taxes imposed by this section, as specified in subdivision (f). Again, perhaps there is hidden some loophole but not being a legislature i wouldnt know where to look. Can you find it? And really - Welfare State - a bit of an overstatement, yes??
Eric Smith November 08, 2012 at 08:23 PM
sorry - legislator...
Abby Ulm November 08, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I believe the section that Clark referenced above is the loophole. Regarding California being regarded as The Welfare State... Considering that 1/3 of the entire nation's welfare recipients reside in our state (and we get no more federal funding than other states to ease the burden of that), there's been an astronomical increase in the amount of people on welfare and Calfresh (food stamps) in the last four years, and the fact that they are actively campaigning to get more people on Calfresh (have you seen/heard the ads?), no I don't think it's an overstatement to say that in 10-20 years CA will be the Welfare State. Maybe you're shielded from it and don't see it as often as I do, but I see evidence of the abuse of the welfare system all around me (literally, my neighbors on both sides are on it) on a daily basis. So forgive me for not "looking on the bright side," but I don't see any evidence of it turning around. I believe that's the mess this state has created for itself. If I'm wrong, I'll be more than happy to eat crow from my affordable home in another state. :)
Greg Peterson November 09, 2012 at 02:25 AM
if our state stopped paying the way for ilegal immigrants healthcare, welfare, housing, education etc...then there would be a lot more funds for those that live here legally, including education. also with obumer back in office, he, his lib friends and union leaders are going to push for illegal immigration reform that will allow the milliions of illegals here now to stay. How can any union worker, i am one (public), be happy with their union leaders when they support allowing illegals to stay and compete for American jobs with the millions of Americans out of work. and when these illegals cant find a job...more welfare.
Eric Smith November 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I have always believed we are a nation of immigrants who detest immigrants (legal and illegal). From the earliest settlement of those who were not the right Christians to the influx of the lousy Irish, the horific Italians and the sinister Eastern/Southern Europeans. We then turned our disgust to the loathesome Chinese the suspect Japanese and always anyone from Mexico and points south. Our history of immigration is one of "who should we restrict now" to "these people are cheating the system". We have always and will continue to have immigration problems. They are forever taking good jobs from the people who are already here. I am suggesting that there is not an issue. OF course their is - and it will continue ad infinitum as our country is a destination for those who want to better themselves, increase the opportunity for their chidren and provide a place for the rights that all people should have. I almost think we should worry more when folks stop wanting to come here. I don't pretend to have an answer - for as many answers as there are - there will always be one more question. All I know is that it is not going away anytime soon. I wonder which group we will focus on next? I say let's get a jump on complaining about the Sudanese, the East Timorians an the Bahamians! Job Takers all...
Eric Smith November 09, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I really need to proofread better... "I am NOT suggesting that there is NOT an issue. Of course there is"


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