Prop. 55: Initiative to extend income tax increases to benefit schools
With Gov. Jerry Brown vowing to cut $6 billion in funding to K–12 schools and community colleges if they didn’t approve a temporary tax increase, voters in 2012 passed Proposition 30, raising the state sales tax and personal income tax on the wealthiest Californians.
Now, Californians are being asked to extend for a dozen years a slightly modified version of the tax, generating roughly the same amount of revenue, depending on economic conditions, under a new name, Proposition 55. Only this time, supporters must make the case without the governor’s help. Brown is staying neutral, saying in a state budget press conference in May, “I said it was temporary when I started, when I got Prop. 30 passed — and I think I’ll leave it there.”
Education funding isn’t as dire as it was four years ago, pre-Prop. 30. But advocates say continuing the revenue is essential for education because many school districts are barely above the funding levels they were at before the Great Recession.
“California is 49th in the nation in teacher-student ratios, and the money from Prop. 55 will be critical to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers,” said Chris Ungar, president of the California Teachers Association.
Benefiting from a resurgent stock market, Prop. 30 raised between $8 billion and $10 billion annually for the General Fund, money that will disappear when Prop. 30 expires on Dec. 31, 2018. In the initial years, nearly all of that money went to K–12 schools and community colleges to repay them for funding that was cut during the recession. Without the money, Brown could not have jump-started his signature reform, the Local Control Funding Formula, which gives extra money to districts with Prop. 55: Initiative to extend income tax increases to benefit schools | EdSource:
Protecting California - Yes on Prop. 55 - http://www.protectingcalifornia.com/