Although there are a lot of political discussions online, I have not participated. This year’s election is so controversial and I can’t stand all the negative blasting between all the candidates. However, there is one issue I’d like to talk about and hopefully my audience will hear me. PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROP 30!
Our schools, teachers, and students are suffering their own “recession”. With budget cuts and overloaded classrooms, how can our “future leaders” get the education they deserve. If Prop 30 does not pass, we will have an Educational Hurricane Sandy! We will immediately begin teacher layoffs, the school year will be shortened, class sizes will increase and that’s just the public K-12 schools. Let’s talk about our community colleges. Our own local Santa Monica College has already cancelled their winter sessions. If 30 doesn’t pass they will lose 500 more classes minimum! A ripple down effect will hit local businesses who cater to the school district and college.
Santa Monica has proven that a small increase in sales tax will help the schools. Thanks to Measures Y and YY we have increased financial support to our schools for the past two years through a sales tax increase. Now we have a chance to do it again. The monies will go directly to the schools! It says so right in the bill!
Here is the basic information direct from Sacramento:
What would passing Prop 30 cost?
- It would raise the state's sales tax by 0.25 percent (one-quarter cent) for three years, and
- It would raise marginal personal income tax rates on filers making over $250,000 (joint filers earning $500,000) by 1 percent to 3 percent for six years.
Where would the money go?
- Of that new revenue, 89 percent would go to K-12 education and 11 percent to California Community Colleges (CCC). Prop. 30 works with Prop. 98 in support of the California state budget.
What exactly is the impact if Prop. 30 passes?
- $500,000 in additional revenue, which translates to 31 class sections (8,460 student seats) more than we served in 2011-12.
What if Prop. 30 fails?
- An automatic cut to our district budget of $4.34 million on Jan. 1, 2013 (after we have already cut more than $8 million since 2008-09).
- The elimination of 8,460 more student seats per year from classes. We would have to cut 251 class sections, plus we would lose the 31 we could add if it passed, multiplied by the average enrollment per section of 30 students. We have already cut 45,060 student seats (1,502 class sections) since 2008-09!
- The elimination of the teachers to teach those classes; most part-time instructors teach more than one section, so at least 141 instructors would not be hired.
- We already have a selective hiring freeze in place, but jobs, wages and benefits would be at risk. Those are negotiable issues, but each would have to be carefully examined.
- Similar cuts will occur at the CSU and UC systems, affecting our students' ability to transfer on for four-year degrees. California students have the third lowest debt load of college grads across the country because thousands of them get their first two years in at the CCCs, which cost less than any community college in the country.
These are not threats. These trigger cuts are already a matter of law. The current California state budget counts on passing Prop. 30 to avoid $1 billion in cuts to higher education. For California's 112 community colleges specifically, $548.5 million is at stake.
The students being turned away from our doors are our future nurses, firefighters, doctors and lawyers. They are new high school graduates who would be the first in their family to go to college, as well as laid-off workers who want and need to retrain for the jobs of tomorrow.
Let’s pass Proposition 30!