Oct 01 2012

California Public Education Funding and Tax Structure At Stake in Propositions 30 and 38

The fate of public education in California will be determined at the ballot box this November when voters choose from one of two propositions designed to temporarily inject money into a hemorrhaging educational budget. Proposition 38, backed by wealthy attorney Molly Munger, daughter of billionaire Charles Munger of the Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, would raise personal income taxes for the next 12 years on anyone making an annual salary over $17,346 dollars. The increase would be on a sliding scale where the lowest income earners pay an additional 0.4% of their current income while those making over $2.5 million pay 2.2%. Munger has masterminded and funded the proposition with $28 million dollars of her own money. Proposition 38 is expected to bring in about $10 billion dollars but the money can only be used for pre-school and K through 12 students, not for colleges or for salaries or pensions of school employees. Individual school districts will be held accountable for implementing improvement projects with the new money.

Proposition 30, also intent on finding new revenue for the education budget, is backed by Governor Jerry Brown and the two main teachers’ unions. It would increase sales tax by a quarter of a percent for all Californians, increasing the current sales tax of 7.25% to 7.5%. It would also raise taxes for the next seven years on only the very wealthiest individuals in the State who make more than $250,000 dollars a year. Married couples who make less than $500,000 dollars a year would not have to pay any additional taxes. Proposition 30 would also amend the state constitution to guarantee more police officers on city streets. With $6 billion dollars in new revenue, Prop 30 would use 89% of that money toward K through 12 education and 11% toward community colleges.

While voters are free to vote for one or both measures, ultimately the Proposition with the most votes will win. Complicating matters however is the fact that if Prop 30 fails, or if 38 gets more votes than 30, Gov. Brown’s “trigger cuts” will go into effect whereby $6 billion dollars will automatically be cut from the state budget resulting in close to $5 billion dollars of lost revenue for schools.

GUEST: David Goldberg, is a Board Member of the California Teachers Association, an elected officer of the CTA and has been a teacher for 14 years.

Visit www.cta.org and www.cbp.org for more information.

One response so far

One Response to “California Public Education Funding and Tax Structure At Stake in Propositions 30 and 38”

  1. mcdezon 01 Oct 2012 at 12:43 pm

    The California State PTA supports Prop 38 because it is the ONLY initiative that GUARANTEES money for our schools. This money DOES NOT pass through Sacramento and CANNOT be touched by the legislature. This is funding is over and above the legal minimum the governor sends down to our school districts. Even with the governor’s threatened trigger cuts, students would still come out ahead if Prop 38 gets the most votes.