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.
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A parking lot is seen empty at an out-of-business store January 27, 2009 in Vallejo, California. Fact check No. 1: Higher taxes aren't necessarily a business killer -- divorce may be a bigger factor.
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 the next several posts, we'll try to break down the proposition and examine the big questions that have been raised in political ads over the last weeks.
What Prop. 30 does: Increases personal income tax for seven years on people making more than $250,000. It would be implemented retroactively, starting Jan. 1, 2012. People making between $250,000 and $300,000 would pay 1% more (up to $3,000). People making between $300,000 and $500,000 would pay 2% more and people making more than $500,000 would pay 3% more in taxes.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy submitted an application for $40 million in Race to the Top funds Thursday without the support of United Teachers Los Angeles.
L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy submitted an application for $40 million in federal Race to the Top money Thursday without the support of United Teachers Los Angeles.
The grant application requires the teachers' union, school board and superintendent to sign off, but earlier this week officials said the district and union could not agree on details of the application.
Deasy submitted the application anyway, with a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asking the Department of Education to consider the district for the award despite the lack of support from its union.
"It is simply wrong for the opposition of one organization -- UTLA -- to deny LAUSD the opportunity to funding that would provide tremendous benefits to our students," Deasy wrote.
L.A. Unified's 150-page application proposes a $43.3 million budget for reforms that would require $3.3 million in funds beyond the $40 million federal award. Deasy said union officials were informed that philanthropy would supply the additional money.
To remain fiscally solvent, California requires all public school districts to maintain a rainy day, reserve fund of about three percent of their unrestricted funds.
Those reserve funds are becoming a bone of contention at some school districts as teachers unions oppose contract concessions, asking why district reserve funds can’t be used.
One such district, the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in the San Gabriel Valley, appears to be an oasis in the desert of education funding.
“We have no furloughs. We still have 20-1 for kindergarten through third grade. And we’ve basically had no cutbacks,” said teachers union president Dani Tucker. She thanks the district’s hefty reserve funds. It’s come at a cost, she says: low teacher salaries, cuts in supply budgets, and increased class sizes.
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images
This week Gov. Jerry Brown launched a media blitz supporting Proposition 30. If we can glean anything from the commercial breaks between the wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Sandy, Molly Munger has also stepped up her TV ad campaign for Prop 38. But a lot of other ballot measures that could have a big impact on education may glide under your radar screen.
Let’s get to them.
In Los Angeles County, 15 bond measures seek to benefit local schools. Districts are asking voters’ approval to borrow from $18 million to $385 million to repair leaky roofs, make seismic retrofits, modernize science labs, and construct new buildings. For the most part the districts with the greatest need aren't asking for the most money. It’s the opposite. The smaller the bond the more modest (and sometimes dire) the improvements seem to be. Um…asbestos removal?