Most of the election discussion in the Press-Banner thus far has focused on the supervisor’s race. Another critical issue on the November ballot is Proposition 30, which has huge implications for our schools. California used to be among the nation’s leaders in education, but California schools have dropped to 46th in the nation in per-student funding with the largest class sizes in the country. In the past four years, California schools have taken $20 billion in cuts and employ 30,000 fewer educators.
In the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley, we are fortunate to have maintained good public schools due to wise fiscal management and extensive parent fundraising, but further cuts to school spending will be devastating to our children. Proposition 30 raises funds for public education through a temporary income tax on high income earners (only couples who earn more than $500,000 per year) and a four-year, quarter-cent sales tax, which is still lower than what we paid a year ago.
The proposition was included as part of the governor’s 2012-13 budget, so if it does not pass, there will be immediate cuts of $6 billion to California schools, community colleges and universities. These cuts will almost certainly result in further increases in class sizes in our schools locally and across the state. Proposition 30 puts the money in a special fund that the legislature can’t touch, and the money can’t be used for state bureaucracy. It requires mandatory, independent annual audits.
Another proposition, Proposition 38, would also provide funding to schools. However, it increases income taxes on nearly all Californians, and current polling suggests it is unlikely to pass. Go to cbp.org for thorough analysis of both.
Nobody likes taxes, but this is an investment. No great economy can thrive without an educated work force. If we don’t prevent further decline of our schools, then we will pay later for jails and other public services. So please vote and support Proposition 30. It is a vote for our children, who are our state’s future.
Karen Holl, Felton