Proposition 30 designed to help school funding
Oct. 20, 2012 — California teachers and administration are waiting to see the outcome of the Nov. 6 election where voters have been given the task of deciding the fate of the education budget.
Local school boards including the Lassen Union High School District (LUHSD) and the Susanville School District (SSD) have adopted resolutions supporting Proposition 30, which will increase personal income tax on annual earnings of more than $250,000 for seven years; increase sales and use tax by a quarter cent for four years; allocate temporary tax revenues of 89 percent to kindergarten through 12th-grade schools and 11 percent to community colleges; bar use of funds for administrative costs, but provide local governing school boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit.
Governor Jerry Brown is saying Prop. 30 will provide new money to school districts, but LUHSD Chief Business Officer Debbie Fry said no new money will be coming to the schools. Instead, the state will give back some of the money it has taken from the schools through deferrals.
But, if Prop. 30 does not pass, local schools will be looking at making cuts, due to an additional loss of $457 per student.
“The guarantee is, if it doesn’t pass, we get cut,” Fry said.
The Lassen County Office of Education warned districts to prepare for the worst case scenario and according to Fry, the LUHSD 2012-2013 budget was built on the initiative not passing, but discussion will need to start immediately regarding cuts for next year.
In those discussions, Fry said she believes the board will want to involve community stakeholders and she doesn’t know of anything that would be off the table.
“We’ve already picked the low hanging fruit, it will be some pretty deep cuts, I would presume,” Fry said.
SSD Superintendent Jason Waddell said if Prop. 30 fails the district will most likely have to make cuts.
He said there will be very hard decisions to make because so many cuts have already been made due to the loss of funds.
Michelle Brown, chief business officer for the SSD, gave a presentation to district staff.
According to the information she provided, Prop. 30 failing means an additional loss of $406,370.24 to the district.
The state is already taking away 22.272 percent of the money owed to schools across the state. If the initiative fails, schools will be facing a 28.814 percent deficit.
Prop. 30 may also be facing some competition.
Fry had just received information Thursday, Oct. 11 that due to Proposition 38, Prop. 30 was losing support.
Proposition 38, primarily backed by activist and attorney Molly Munger, will increase the income tax for most Californians for 12 years. It would also earmark most of the new revenue for public school districts and early childhood development programs.
If both propositions pass, Fry said Prop. 30 will probably take precedence because people can only be taxed one time.
If Prop. 38 passes, but Prop. 30 does not, Fry said it could mean Brown will reduce the contributions from the state general fund to the schools and it could mean schools will be in the same place they are right now.
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