The Urgency of Prop 30

Thursday, November 1, 2012
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We owe it to our children to pass Proposition 30.

If you care about children, students, and the future of our workforce, you should support Prop 30.

It’s that simple.

It’s not hyperbole or political fear-mongering to say that California and its schools will face destructive consequences if Prop 30 fails. There is no shell game or secrecy behind this proposition.

Most importantly, now is not the time to point fingers.

If you were on a sinking boat, and someone threw you a raft to save your life, you wouldn’t complain that the raft was too small or that it arrived too late, or that your ship shouldn’t be sinking in the first place.

You would jump in the raft.

Anyone who chooses to play partisan games or blame past leadership is missing the point entirely. Prop 30 is our best and most responsible opportunity to make our world a better place for our next generation.

Prop 30 is the lifeline that we as intellectually honest Californians know that we need to rescue us in these difficult financial times.

If Prop. 30 passes, we will begin to restore California and stave off deeper cuts to our educational system.

Santa Barbara County K-12 schools would face $27.8 million in cuts if Prop 30 fails. The Santa Barbara Unified School District could lose nearly $7 million. The number is in the billions statewide.

Prop 30 is designed to tackle the state’s severe budget problems by temporarily raising the statewide sales tax one-quarter cent and temporarily increasing personal income taxes for those making above $250,000 annually. The proposal would generate at least $6 billion for the state. That’s money that Governor Jerry Brown will use for schools primarily, and other public services.

Voters should not confuse Prop 30 with Prop. 38. Prop 30 will fund California’s community colleges and universities. Prop 38 will not. Prop 30 is the only comprehensive approach on the ballot that helps to solve the state’s budget problems. Prop 30 is also supported by educational leaders such as the Santa Barbara Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone, the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education, and local education leaders.

Local schools face further torrential cuts if Prop 30 doesn’t pass, including teacher layoffs, a shorter school year, and a continual erosion of the curriculum.

In addition to helping our K-12 schools, Prop 30 funds community colleges and prevents further cuts to universities. It also allows fees to be frozen at UCs and even lowered at California State Universities.

Prop 30’s passage will also help boost the economy and our businesses.

I have spoken with business leaders from many industries and they all say that the reason they choose to locate in California is because of the access to skilled workers who come from universities and community colleges.

We know that community colleges and universities have been wrecked by state budget cuts. The loss in funding has meant higher class fees and tuition, fewer classes, and ultimately a huge drop in the number of people going to college.

According to the California Workforce Investment Board, nine out of 10 jobs in the state will require college training over the next 10 years.

Higher education is our best economic advantage. Anything we do to reduce the number of graduates every year is a shortsighted move in the long run.

We must pass Prop 30. It is the lifeline we need to save our schools.

Passing Prop 30 is a relatively small sacrifice for Californians, considering what’s at stake.

If there was ever a time for Republicans and Democrats to come together in support of a proposition, this is it. A “Yes” vote on Prop. 30 would mean we can transcend ideology and personal biases and do what’s right for our children.

Das Williams is California's 35th District assemblyman and chair of the Higher Education Committee


Independent Discussion Guidelines

This is easily one of the most insincere, dishonest pieces of union propaganda I have ever read.

The non-partisan legislative office says that the funds will be spent in a way that the legislature will decide at a later date.

Be warned: if prop 30 passes, not a single penny will show up in our children's (I have 2 in SB public schools) classroom. Instead all of this money will be used as "backfill" for unfunded pension and retiree benefit costs. Also, if it passes, our spending on public schools will revert to (horror!) 2007 levels, which are 110% hire per pupil than in 1955, adjusted for inflation.

If prop 30 fails, then lib dems in Sacramento will NEVER let there be 6B in cuts to their precious union backers (Cal teachers assoc)... and instead will cut something else.

Prop 30 is a disaster for our state and does nothing but feed an insatiable union money machine while using sad-faced kids and teacher-union hacks to spend, spend and spend more *outside* the classroom. Vote YES on A+B, vote NO on 30.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2012 at 8:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This from someone who abstained on SB 1530 that would have protected students from pedophile teachers.

Das is much less interested in the welfare of our students than he is for the teacher's union he holds so dear.

Botany (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2012 at 9:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Presupposing of course that we care & that "we" have Children.

All snark beside, I support education as it statistically (for you partisans) lowers the incarceration rate. The question still stands beside the above diatribe, will prop 30 increase education funding? Yes it will. Will prop 30 funding be restricted to education funding? yes, if you consider funding pensions for public teachers education funding HOWEVER, this money would come out of the education budget elsewhere if it isn't passed. Hold you nose if you vote for this.

Stumbling_Distance (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2012 at 9:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I held my nose and voted for A and B .. But the stench of 30 was just too much for me.
Giving the state any mor money is a big NO.
We need to realize we need to fund our schools locally and take it out of the hands of CA.
Locally we have allowed too many projects to take away from school funding; redevelopment, affordable housing are probably the 2 biggest.

loneranger (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 12:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Where did all the previous expenditures on public education go?

We keep hearing that if this or that bond measure gets passed, it will "go a long way" in helping the schools, yet every time one of these measures gets passed, the schools are still sticking their hands out for more $$$.

If a kid told their parents they could get by with a certain allowance per week, but after three days the kid was hitting on the parents for more money, wouldn't it be reasonable for the parents to ask that kid to account for the money that was spent? Why is it unreasonable for us taxpayers to do the same when clearly the money we spend doesn't fix the ongoing problems in our education system?

Being a teacher or playing "the children" card doesn't give one moral carte blanche.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 2:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Das is admittedly the worst advocate for 30, and he IS imprisoned by his union sponsors, I know, I know. Getting past this and Willy88's typical extreme right nonsense, yes, we must vote YES on 30. Ok, lone ranger holding his nose, go ahead and vote for 30 as well as parcel taxes A and B.
The monies from 30 WILL go directly to education. Botany and others: can you separate your hatred of unions and apparently of older teachers who have earned their public pensions...and still perceive the needs of our many children TODAY in public schools? As Stumbling_Distance makes clear, those pensions will be paid out anyway.
Bill, you ask where did those earlier expenditures go, well, one aspect is simply the huge additional number of children entering the public education system in California. Population increase. That costs more. In fact, California is 47th in per-child support (around $8900 per kid); as a point of comparison New York State spends $19,000 per student.
If Prop 30 fails the brunt of the hit on public education is on K-12, and this is where we need to shore up public education the most! It is pathetic and scary how cheap we are with public education. While more and better education does reduce the incarceration rate, even more it offers our children more of a level playing field to compete for good jobs with everyone on earth in this global economy.
Why do some of you always point to the public pension costs and demonstrate not only a dislike of children but also a disrespect of older teachers who have worked say 30 years and now have earned a pension? You foam at the mouth about these pension costs, but Prop 30 is about helping kids learn and when they get jobs it will support our economy.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 6:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I already voted and I voted NO on 30.
Honestly, even if 30 does pass it will not fix the problem and we will be back in the same 'save or schools' hysteria within 2 years. There is no way economic growth can make up for the structural issues.

We need to stop kicking the can down the road and force real structural reform; pensions, cost of prisoners, walfare, size and cost of state government, teacher pay/senority/reward system. Take back our state and our schools.

loneranger (anonymous profile)
November 2, 2012 at 11:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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