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The Good and the Bad of Proposition 30

A local teacher looks at the pros and cons of Proposition 30... and gives his recommendation.

 

Schools have reached the breaking point throughout California. We’ve faced annual budget cuts since 2008.

In Castro Valley, we have fewer counselors supporting students at Creekside, Canyon, Redwood and CVHS. All sports funding has been cut. Elementary class and high school class sizes are the largest they’ve been in decades. School employees have less time to work with kids, because their hours have been cut as a cost-saving measure.

In 2009 alone, Gov. Schwarzenegger and the Democratic-controlled Legislature cut $9.3 billion dollars in education spending. These cuts hurt children, families and communities.

Proposition 30 – the Schools & Local Public Safety Protection Act – temporarily raises taxes on wealthy Californians and increases the sales tax by a quarter cent.

What’s good about Proposition 30?

  • Raises revenue to address shortfalls, instead of cutting services for children
  • 78.8% of new revenue comes from taxpayers with annual  incomes over $532,000
  • Prevents $6 billion in mid-year “trigger cuts”

What’s bad about Proposition 30?

  • Won’t raise enough money to restore cuts from previous years
  • Sales tax is a regressive tax that disproportionately impacts low-income families

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has written: “Economic theory and evidence gives a clear and unambiguous answer: It is economically preferable to raise taxes on those with high incomes than to cut state expenditures.”

 

Stiglitz has gone on to say: “Every dollar of state and local government spending enters the local economy right away, generating a greater economic impact [than tax cuts]. The impact is especially large when the money goes for salaries of teachers, policemen and firemen, doctors and nurses and others that provide vital services to our communities.”

 

Proposition 30 is the right measure on the ballot to protect vital services like public education and it’s the right course of action to take during a recession. It keeps our heads above water while parents, teachers and community figure out the next steps to fully fund public education in California.

 

(Like many teachers in California, I am abstaining from Proposition 38, another school funding measure. I appreciate the hard work of the Parent Teacher Association to put this measure on the ballot. Raising the income tax by 20% across the board is a bitter pill to swallow though and Proposition 38 won’t support community colleges or public universities which is unfortunate.)

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Milan Moravec October 22, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Dalamar...no additional funding but have the talented innovative inventive teachers and faculty find ways of increasing learning with reduced $ and reduced teachers and faculty. In otherwords no on Prop 38, 30, and 32 In otherwords No on 30, 38, and 32
Milan Moravec October 22, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Einstein’s view of Prop. 30 Prop. 38 – “Spending more money doing what has been done in the past and hoping for a better outcome is insanity”. Have innovative, thoughtful, insightful, creative teachers faculty discover ways of increasing learning with significantly reduced resources $. No on 30, 38 and 32
Milan Moravec October 22, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Dalmar...my solution is to cut and then have the innovative and talented teachers and faculty find ways of improving learning using less resources - No Prop 30, 38, and 32 Einstein’s view of Prop. 30 Prop. 38 – “Spending more money doing what has been done in the past and hoping for a better outcome is insanity”.
John T. Green October 22, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Glad to hear we're drawing inspiration from Einstein, who considered himself a socialist an published a widely read essay entitled, "Why Socialism?" I think he'd support taxing the rich to pay for the public good.
Charles Reynes October 22, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I am not sure Einstein has a view on prop. 30. Repeating the same slogan over and over without looking at the facts seems to fit Einstein's definition of insanity as well. The point I am trying to make is that we have done some wonderful things. Test scores are up, children are learning. There may be ways to make radical changes, but they should be thought out. A no vote on Prop. 30 hardly seems like a mode of reform. If Prop. 30 fails, children will suffer. It is my hope that we pass prop. 30 and then work to make schools more effective. It's a bit like the human heart. Some times a heart needs to be broken before it can open and be filled with things like compassion. But a shattered heart can not be filled with anything. So do we break the schools or shatter them. If you look at the cuts that have been made, schools have been broken open to change. Cut them more, and I fear they might shatter. As for Prop. 32. I do not understand why it is OK for corporations to have unlimited power, but unions, organized workers, must be silenced. What's the fear? The increases in achievement that I noted in a previous post were the result of Castro Valley's investing in science labs for each elementary school. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve this community, and I ask every citizen to continue to support our children and schools.

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