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Lessons From the Passage of Prop 30: Public Education Still Matters

We have to keep letting the nation's politicians and policymakers know that we won't stand for the decimation and dismantling of public education.


As I drove my 9-year-old fourth grader to school on Tuesday, he confessed to me that he was nervous about Election Day. Both he and his 11-year-old brother attend school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and have seen first-hand the decimation of public education due to $20 billion in education cuts. In the weeks leading up to the election, my sons heard plenty of straight talk about an additional $5.4 billion in cuts that would be triggered if Proposition 30, the Schools & Local Safety Protection Act, failed at the polls. "Will schools totally die if it doesn't pass?" he asked.

Fortunately, we won't have to find out the answer to that question. Californians came through for my son and the rest of the state’s children and passed Prop 30, which will now provide up to $6 billion per year for public education—both K-12 and higher education—by temporarily increasing "personal income taxes on the highest earners—couples with incomes over $500,000 a year" and by raising the sales tax one quarter of one percent.

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On Election Day, Your Local School Hangs in the Balance

If Prop 30 and 38 don't pass in California, America's economic prosperity is in trouble.


On Tuesday, November 6 I’ll be doing what Americans nationwide will be doing: heading to the polls to elect a president. But, I also live in California, a state that in the last four years alone has seen public schools endure $20 billion in education cuts. On Election Day, I—and every other Californian—have the opportunity to show our support for public education by passing two education-focused initiatives, Proposition 30, the Schools & Local Safety Protection Act, and Proposition 38, Our Children Our Future. With these initiatives, we will send a message to our state leaders that the voting public cares about education and it should be a priority for our state once again.

The two propositions are models for legislation in other states impacted by education cuts. Proposition 30 "temporarily increases personal income taxes on the highest earners—couples with incomes over $500,000 a year—and establishes the sales tax at a rate lower than it was last year." That will provide up to $6 billion per year, most of which is restitution funding for K-12 education, public colleges, and universities, plus some new funds for public safety. The revenue from Prop 30 is already included in the 2012-13 state budget, therefore failure of this proposition would trigger a $5.4 billion cut to education.

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