Prop 30 Preserves School Days, Restores Classes In San Diego
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Aired 11/8/12 on KPBS News.
Voters' approval of Proposition 30 means more school days, more classes and even refunds for San Diego County students.
SAN DIEGO Several school districts in San Diego County stood to lose between one and three weeks from the school year if voters rejected Proposition 30. Wednesday morning Gov. Jerry Brown called voters' approval of the temporary sales and income tax increases a victory for the "California Dream."
Brown said Proposition 30’s success will allow the state to stop borrowing from school districts and fund education at the level required by the state constitution.
San Diego Unified was poised to cut 14 days from the school year if the measure failed. San Diego Unified Board of Education President John Lee Evans said the measure doesn’t solve all of the district’s financial problems. But after four years of cuts it will free up time and energy for other important issues.
“It’s been a real challenge these last four years focusing on improving our academic programs," he said. "And we have been successful and our test scores have gone up but we could have done even a lot better if we weren’t every day, every week, facing a new budget challenge.”
For community colleges in the county, the proposition means a small increase in state funding for the first time since 2006. The Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District will add about 300 course sections, which means the schools wil be able to accomodate about 1,100 more students.
San Diego Community College District could add up to 200 course sections, which Chancellor Constance Carroll said is a modest restoration of courses lost since 2007.
“We have had to cut 2,750 class sections, turning away more than 30,000 students," she said. "This modest increase in classes for next semester will probably allow us to serve up to 5,000 students.”
California State Universities will roll tuition back to last year’s levels. Students paying tuition at San Diego State and Cal State San Marcos this year will be refunded $249 per semester.