Say “tax initiative” and my eyes glaze over. I’m bombarded, in overload and overwhelmed with political messages. I want to be an informed voter, but it is all so confusing!
I work in the field of education, so I did a little research on Prop. 30. Well . . . actually more than a little.
And with less than a week before the November 6 election, I am moved to hopefully make voters more aware of the impact on public education if Prop. 30 fails.
Education officials say the loss of Prop. 30 would create a $6 billion hole in the public education budget, putting funding for California's schools at a historic low. Without proper funding to ensure college and career readiness for our students, they will be less competitive in the job market and university placement.
Prop 30 is designed mainly to fund California's schools. And where does this funding come from? There will be an increase in personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years and also an increase in sales and use tax by a quarter cent for four years. These funds are reported to generate an estimated $6 billion annually.
A yes vote for Prop. 30 will prevent massive cuts to education and provide billions of dollars in funding for classrooms. Passing Prop. 30 is essential for public education to get back on its feet!
Need more convincing? Consider a few facts compiled by the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Education:
- California’s schools are at the breaking point after suffering more than $20 billion in cuts over the last four years.
- California’s classrooms are among the most crowded in the country, and per pupil spending ranks 47th out of 50 states.
- California schools now employ 30,000 fewer teachers and 15,000 fewer classified support staff than they did four years ago.
- California’s Community Colleges are tremendously under funded at a time when our students rely on them more than ever.
- Proposition 30 is the only initiative that will prevent $6 billion in trigger cuts and increase school funding by billions of dollars starting this year.
- Proposition 30 also protects local safety funding and helps balance the budget to get California back on track.
- Proposition 30 protects schools and taxpayers by directing money into a special account for public schools and the legislature cannot touch and prevents any money from being used for state bureaucracy.
- Mandatory, independent annual audits will insure Proposition 30 funds are spent ONLY for schools and public safety.
- Proposition 30 is supported by Governor Jerry Brown, the California School Employees Association, the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, the University of California Board of regents, the California State University Board of Trustees, the California School boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators, and the League of Women Voters.
- The Board of Education of the Napa Valley Unified School District strongly supports Proposition 30, Schools and Local Pubic Safety Protection Act and urges Californians to vote YES on Proposition 30 to take a stand for our schools.
So from one voter to another, I am urging a YES Vote on Proposition 30. We face an enormous challenge to public education and much is at stake!
Carolynne Gamble, Concerned California Educator
Carolynne Gamble works at Napa Valley Adult Education and Napa Valley College