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Majority Of Voters Support News Taxes For Schools

Aired 4/26/12 on KPBS News.

Fifty-four percent of likely voters polled by the Public Policy Institute of California said they plan to vote for Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative.

Voter support for Gov. Jerry Brown’s November tax initiative seems to be rising. If the measure passes it would mean level state funding for public schools.

A poll from the Public Policy Institute of California shows 54 percent of California’s likely voters plan to support the governor’s November tax initiative. That’s up from 52 percent in the group's March poll.

Brown’s measure would temporarily increase sales tax by a quarter cent and raise income tax on those earning more than $250,000 a year. If the measure fails, school funding will be cut by $455 per pupil, according to Lora Duzyk, head of business services for the San Diego County Office of Education.

School districts across San Diego County have issued preemptive layoff notices for the fall because teacher contracts cannot be ended mid-year. While the dramatic cuts necessary to brace for the possible November trigger cut are impossible to make once the school year starts, Duzyk said some could be reversed if the tax hike gets voter approval.

“They could be running at or above maximum class size," she said of the county's schools, "and then if the initiative passes then they could bring teachers back to reduce class sizes a little bit."

The measure would also repay about $2 billion in deferred payments to school districts. State funding deferrals mean many districts take out short-term bonds to pay for day to day operations, which costs districts in interest payments.

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Avatar for user 'mcdez'

mcdez | April 26, 2012 at 1:56 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

People should be aware that the governor's income and sales tax will not bring any additional money to schools. The revenue that goes to schools is money that has previously been taken from schools. He's paying back a debt. Paying back a debt to schools is not the same as giving money to schools. With the governor's proposal, our per pupil spending will remain flat -- if we're lucky.

Our Children, Our Future is the only initiative that actually provides dollars over and above the Prop 98 minimum. This PTA/Molly Munger initiative raises income tax rates on a sliding scale: from 4/10 of 1% on the lowest earners to 2.2% on multi-millionaires. Most people earning under $50,000 won’t pay any more taxes. There is no sales tax.

This money cannot be used to increase current teacher salaries or benefits and puts a 1% cap on administrative costs. This money can be spent to improve students' academic performance, graduation rates, and vocational, career, college and life readiness by funding: 1. instruction in the arts, physical education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, history, civics, financial literacy, English and foreign languages, and technical, vocational or career education; 2. smaller class sizes; 3. more counselors, librarians, school nurses and other support staff at the school site; 4. extended learning time through longer school days or longer school years, summer school, preschool, after school enrichment programs and tutoring; 5. additional social and academic support for English language learners, low income students and students with special needs; 6. alternative education models that build students' capacity for critical thinking and creativity; and 7. more communication and engagement with parents as true partners with schools in helping all children succeed.

California State PTA was very careful about which tax initiative to support. Our Children, Our Future, won -- hands down.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | April 26, 2012 at 5:06 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm voting against any new taxes for any cause. Our government needs to learn to make do with what they've got. Raising taxes will encourage them to spend more and more. No one can convince me if we provided the government with all their monetary needs they'd still find a way to drive us to bankruptcy same time next year.

Also, where do they expect us to get the money from? Jobs aren't paying what they used to as is.

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