Campaign to keep public education funded kicks into high gear

On May 11, a coalition of unions and community groups announced that it had submitted more than a million signatures to place the “California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act” on the November ballot to continue the funding benefits of Proposition 30.

The new statewide ballot measure asks voters to extend the more progressive income taxes for the wealthiest 2 percent of Californians, and drop the modest sales tax that is part of the original Prop. 30. The measure will extend the tax on the wealthy for the next 12 years.

Proposition 30, a temporary tax passed by California’s voters in 2012 by a 55-45 margin, has been a game changer for public education and the state’s public sector, pumping $7 to $8 billion per year into state coffers from two sources.

About a billion dollars comes in from a one quarter of one percent increase in the sales tax, and the other $6 billion dollars originates in three tiers of 1, 2, and 3 percent bumps on taxpayers making $250,000, $300,000 and $500,000 per year. This made it an overwhelmingly progressive tax, with the regressive portion — the sales tax — expiring at the end of this year. Without an extension, the tax on the wealthy ends in 2018.

“Thanks to Prop. 30, we have begun to restore the programs and positions lost to the Great Recession,” says CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “Without asking millionaires to pay a little more so that all of us can benefit, education will return to the devastating years of layoffs and tuition increases. We cannot afford to let Prop. 30 expire.”

CFT is partnering with the CTA, SEIU, and other unions to pass the extension this November.

> Learn more from the campaign to extend Prop. 30.

Poll says voters favor extending Prop. 30

On April 20, the Public Policy Institute of California released the results of its poll, reporting that most Californians say state funding for their local public schools is inadequate and most favor an extension of the Proposition 30 tax increase on higher incomes, as well as a bond measure to pay for school construction projects.

— By CFT Staff