Pass / Fail

So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Supporters of 2 California school tax measures in court over ballot placement

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The backers of two tax for schools initiatives on the November ballot square off in a Sacramento courtroom Monday.

On one side is Gov. Jerry Brown. On the other is Pasadena civil rights lawyer Molly Munger. Both have proposed initiatives to raise billions of dollars for public schools by raising taxes. Lawyers for both will argue for a place near the top of the November ballot.

Research shows voters are more likely to approve initiatives that appear higher on the ballot, says Munger spokesman Nate Ballard.

"That’s what this game is about," Ballard says. "We’re trying to get 'yes' votes. And we just want to make sure that the game is played fairly."

Munger sued after Brown’s Sacramento allies passed a law that moved Brown’s measure to the top of the ballot, and buried Munger’s near the bottom. Munger argues that the law shouldn’t apply to the November election.

She also argues that her initiative should have been validated first, and thus placed higher on the ballot, because her campaign submitted its signatures first. Brown’s supporters say initiatives changing the state constitution, like the governor’s, should be at the top of the ballot.

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