Instructors, students and others committed to quality public education in California breathed a sigh of relief with the passage of Proposition 30, the ballot measure that will bring increased revenue to public education and other services through temporary progressive taxation.
While no one mistakes Prop. 30 for a panacea to the funding problems facing California’s public sector, its passage does permit many part-time faculty to expect to be offered classes in coming years that they would not have been offered without the measure.
Carl Friedlander, president of the CFT Community College Council, says that Prop. 30 has already led to the restoration of winter intersession at many colleges and should mean larger spring instructional programs and the revival of summer sessions at community colleges across California. According to Friedlander, the benefits of Prop. 30 for students and adjunct faculty should continue and compound over the coming years as California emerges from the era of budget deficits and as modest annual increases in community college funding begin to kick in.
“The extent to which these benefits materialize will, however, depend on how successful we are in convincing Gov. Brown and the Legislature that a significant portion of the new Prop. 30 funds should be spent on restoring lost access and student services,” he says. The governor wants to see a large portion of the new funds used to buy down “the wall of debt,” which, in the community college system, means $800 million in inter-year deferrals.
CFT will be advocating for a balanced approach to restoring classes and services on the one hand and buying down deferrals on the other.