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

Prop. 30 fact check: We'll never know where the money actually goes

Gov. Jerry Brown

Sharon McNary/KPCC

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in support of Prop. 30 at a rally of UCLA students on campus, Oct. 16, 2012. Fact check No. 2: The $8.5 billion brought in by Prop. 30 will go to a "lockbox" called the Education Protection Account and can't be spent on anything else.

Next up: We examine the claim that Propostion 30 is a flawed measure.

Background: With less than a week to the Nov. 6 election, there's a lot of information - and misinformation - out there about Prop. 30. The measure, supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, would raise sales and income taxes in order to avert $6 billion in primarily education cuts.

Prop. 30 is written into the enacted 2012-13 California budget, which presumes that the measure will be approved by a majority of voters Tuesday. Over several posts, we try to break down the proposition and examine the big questions that have been raised in political ads these past few weeks.

Read the introductory post for details on what Prop. 30 does and what happens if it fails. 

Arguments against Prop. 30: The arguments fall under four main categories: no new taxes, the measure is flawed, the money would be wasted, and schools are a mess. These positions are primarily supported by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., the National Federation of Independent Business California and Small Business Action Committee.


College students to dress like zombies and march for Prop. 30 in 'The Walking Debt'

The Walking Debt, Prop. 30

Student Senate for California Community Colleges

Community college students will dress up like zombies Friday Oct. 26, 2012, and walk from L.A. City Hall to the governor's Downtown office in support of Prop. 30.

California Community College students are planning to dress up like zombies Friday afternoon and take part in "The Walking Debt" — a march from L.A. City Hall to the governor's Downtown office in support of Prop. 30 and education funding.

Students from the Los Angeles Community College District's nine campuses, Pasadena City College and campuses throughout Southern California plan to meet at noon dressed as zombies at L.A. Trade Technical College before starting "The Walking Debt." (A play on "Walking Dead," for those who didn't get it.)

The event has been primarily publicized through social media, with Facebook events and messages tying state funding cuts to Halloween.

“There’s an audience of people that would be involved politically if it was more interesting, and its been very difficult to reach that audience…The idea is to try to get people that would otherwise be uninterested on board,” said PCC student John Fraser, president of Region 7 of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.


Schools at stake across U.S. in most education tax ballot measures in 20 years

Early Voting Begins In Iowa For Presidential Election

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Many schools across the country will be looking to voters to pass measures next month that fund public education.

In a couple of weeks, Californians will be voting on Propositions 30 and 38, involving education funding, but they are hardly alone this election season: The Wall Street Journal reports that voters in several states will be deciding on measures affecting schools across the United States in the biggest such wave in about 20 years:

"Arizona, Missouri and South Dakota have tax-increase measures on ballots, while California is offering voters dueling proposals. Oregon has an initiative to redirect to schools some money that corporations receive as tax rebates. That is the largest number of education-tax initiatives to appear on state election ballots in two decades, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures."

The story cites information from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that shows that per student funding for elementary and secondary schools is below the 2008 level in 35 states. California is currently 47th in the country in how much it spends per student.


At PCC: Confusion and complacency on Prop. 30

Pasadena City College Prop. 30

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

Pasadena City College students gathered in the quad holding "Yes on Prop. 30" signs to educate their peers about $6.7 million in cuts they'll face if it fails. They also put up a voter registration table to allow students to register electronically.

A handful of students gathered in the Pasadena City College quad at noon Thursday holding "Yes on Prop. 30" signs and trying to educate their peers about the nearly $7 million in more cuts they'll face if the measure fails to receive a majority of votes next month.

Most students kept walking. A few stopped at the laptops on the table to register to vote or to ask questions; others to grab some Milk Duds.

Benjamin Rincon stopped by the table to change his address. Rincon, 22, couldn't remember whether he's a second- or third-year — "it's been too long," he joked. He's studying accounting and communications and had been planning a while ago to transfer to a four-year college. 

He's planning on voting against Prop. 30.

"I'm against increasing our taxes," Rincon said. "...Budget cuts have been happening, so I guess I'm getting accustomed to it. I'm not sure. I'm doing OK so far with the budget cuts. Of course, I wouldn't like to spend another year here, but I'd rather spend an extra year than increase taxes again."