From the President: The Most Important Article of 2012

The state of California ranks 47th in per pupil spending and DEAD last in the United States in class size.  You’d think with numbers like this we’d be ranked near the bottom in amount of taxes that we pay…this is not the case.  Our state actual ranks 17th-18th in taxes, which means that most states simply spend a higher percentage of their tax dollars on education.

A Path for Change

We are looking for three initiatives to hit the state ballot in November.  This is both good news and bad news.  The good news is all three impact education funding.   (One keeps it at a status quo and prevents further cuts and the other two increase funding in the coming years.)  The bad news is they are posed to compete with each other and all three could be defeated.  Here is a brief description of each initiative:

Schools and Local Public Safety and Protection Act

  • AKA Governor Brown Initiative
  • Revenue Source:  Temporary half cent increase in state sales tax and additional tax on incomes above $250,000. Raises $4.8-6.9 billion in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and $5.5- 6.9 billion annually through 2015-16. Less in the final year, 2016-17.
  • Estimated Revenue:  2.4 billion to prop 98
  • Term:  4 Years
  • Increase in Current Education Funding Levels: $0, prevents cuts in future years
  • Allocation: Approx. two thirds of the money would be used to backfill the state General Fund as part of the 2011- 12 realignment of services and funds to local government. $2.4 billion in school money proposed to be used to buy down apportionment deferrals in 2012-13.
  • Status:  Approved for collection of signatures.

Our Children, Our Future:  Local Schools and Early Education Investment Act

  • AKA Munger Initiative
  • Revenue Source:  Graduated increase in income taxes, ranging from an additional .4% to 2.2%.
  • Estimated Revenue:  $10 billion annually directly to schools.
  • Term:  12 Years
  • Increase in Current Education Funding Levels: $7 billion annual for 4 years then $10 billion annually for 8 years
  • Allocation: 85% of funds to K- 12 and 15% to early childhood education. K-12 money to be spent at school site and requires governing board approval. For the first four years, $3 billion would come off the top for state general fund debt relief.
  • Status:  Approved for collection of signatures.

Millionaires Tax to Restore Funding for Education and Essential Services Act of 2012

  • AKA Millionaires Tax or CFT
  • Revenue Source:  Increases taxes on incomes above $1 million annually.
  • Estimated Revenue: $6 billion annually
  • Term:  Indefinite
  • Increase in Current Education Funding Levels: $2.2 Billion annually K-12
  • Allocation: Provides funds for public safety, road and bridge maintenance, children and senior services, and schools.
  • Status:  Approved for collection of signatures.

Be Smarter than the TV Ads:  Make an Informed Decision

Let’s be honest, these initiatives are confusing.  I am including a list of pertinent websites below, so you can educate yourselves in order to vote your conscience in November.

California State PTA Backs Our Children, Our Future

This section is adapted from State PTA Presidents Article “PTA is mobilizing for $10 billion fundraiser: Our Children, Our Future”

Why? An entire generation of children is being denied the education they need to succeed in the workforce and succeed in life.  We decided to help write the plan – the Our Children, Our Future education initiative – to make sure California is serving its most important constituency: our children and youth.  What the plan does:

  • Raise $10 billion to $11 billion dollars each year and put it in a trust fund;
  • Target money for early childhood education and educational programs and services for K-12 schools;
  • Send the money to every local school on a per-pupil basis;
  • Give parents and the school community input on how the money is spent;
  • Provide a clear list of what the money can be used for;
  • Give the voters a chance to see how it works, and let them decide if they would like it to continue after 12 years.

Help Wanted

In order for an initiative to make the ballot, a minimum amount of signatures needs to be collected.  If you are interested in signing a petition or collecting signatures, please email me at kamblivity@hotmail.com…or just stop me when you see me on the soccer fields, at school, or even the grocery store.

–Kamala Nahas, La Mariposa PTA President 2010-12

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