Paul Gann, the political activist whose work in support of voter initiatives dramatically altered education funding in California, died last week at the age of 77.
Mr. Gann was co-author of Proposition 13, which halved property taxes in California and placed restrictive limits on future increases after it was approved by voters in 1978. The success of the initiative spawned similar tax-cutting measures in other states.
The following year he sponsored another successful initiative that has since become known as the "Gann spending limit"--an amendment to the California constitution that restricts annual growth in state and local government budgets.
The combination of the spending and revenue-raising restrictions created financial difficulties for many of the state's school districts. Educators and their allies responded last year with a successful campaign for Proposition 98, a constitutional amendment that mandates steady increases in state school aid.