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

Prop 30 passed - so now where's the money?

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

California’s voters avoided massive cuts to public education that would have gone into effect in January by approving Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s tax measure. Now the question is: when will the money show up?

The short answer is the income tax revenue on anyone who earns more than a $250 thousand dollars a year, plus the additional quarter-cent sales tax, will have a ripple effect on the different systems of public education.

For K-12 schools, not much may change in the short term because most districts assembled their budgets assuming that Prop 30 would pass.

But State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said the ability to maintain the status quo will stem “the chaos of waves of pink slips, of disruption, just demoralization of the teaching work force.” 

A billion dollars in state funding would have disappeared from the budget as early of December, he said.

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Credit rating for California school districts could be downgraded if Props 30 & 38 fail

Prop 30 and 38

David McNew/Getty Images

The fate of pro-education Propositions 30 and 38 will be decided by voters on Nov. 6.

Public support for Propositions 30 and 38 is plummeting despite expansive, and expensive,  campaign efforts across the state by their respective champions: Governor Jerry Brown and attorney and millionaire-ess Molly Munger.

Critics have accused Brown and Munger of using scare tactics about the imminent collapse of the public education system to elicit more “Yes” votes for the tax initiatives intended to shore up funds for education. 

But Moody’s Investors Service says the forecast for California school districts is dire, and many are at risk of having their credit rating downgraded if both ballot measures fail.

The projections in the report, "California School Districts Face Mounting Credit Pressure If Tax Initiative Fails in November Election," are bleak:

“As many as 150 of the 327 California school districts it rates to face some degree of fiscal pressure if both propositions are defeated. The weakest of these are likely candidates that Moody's would place on review for downgrade following the election.”

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Cal State Monterey Bay sued over pro-Prop 30 email

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

An anti-tax group is suing Cal State Monterey Bay over an email that urged students to support Proposition 30.  That’s Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative to stem further cuts to education. 

The email was written by Professor Ernest Stromberg, director of Humanities and Communications at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Stromberg's email laid out a passionate case for a "yes" vote on Prop 30. He wrote that the Cal State system would face $250 million in cuts if Prop 30 fails, and he wrote that faculty jobs are on the line.

Then Stromberg hit “send” - and the email landed in the "in" boxes of 360 Monterey Bay students.

It would have been legal if Stromberg had used a Gmail or Yahoo email account. But the professor used his Cal State Montrey Bay work email.

That’s why the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has sued, claiming Stromberg violated a state campaign law against using public resources for mass political mailings.

And the CSU system agrees. General Counsel Christine Helwick released the following statement:

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UPDATED: CSU Campuses spread the word on Prop 30

Mercer 3997

csulb.edu

University library at the Cal State Long Beach campus.

California State University campuses are trying to spread the word on why voters should say “Yes” to Proposition 30 – a measure that raises taxes to prevent further state cuts to education.

Over the next week, Cal State campuses in Sacramento, Long Beach, and San Francisco are hosting nformational events detailing the potential impact of the tax initiative. Voter registration drives are also part of the effort. Some critics, including the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, charge that with actions like this the public university system is engaging in improper political advocacy.

KPCC’s Julie Small recently reported that although a slim majority favors Prop 30 – 55% of survey respondents say they support the quarter cent tax hike - pollsters say its fate is “vulnerable.”

If voters approve it, the measure would prevent a $250 million “trigger” cut to CSU’s budget that would take effect at the end of the year.

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