To the Editor:
Your Nov. 16, 2016, election coverage (“State Ballot Measures”) made no mention of the California statewide ballot measure known as Proposition 55, the Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare, an initiative constitutional amendment. This proposition passed overwhelmingly—63 percent to 37 percent—and is estimated to bring public education $4 billion to $9 billion a year (in 2016 dollars) between 2019 and 2030.
A 12-year extension of 2012’s temporary Proposition 30, Proposition 55 is a purely progressive tax, continuing a modest bump of 1, 2, and 3 percent on the state’s highest income earners. The proposition also allows a small sales-tax increase, which was put in place by Proposition 30, to expire.
Without the funding from Proposition 30, which gave the state the ability to gradually rehire the thousands of teachers and school support personnel laid off during the Great Recession, I would argue that California’s schools would have remained in the same dire straits in which they found themselves in 2010.
While many states have not passed similar measures to help fund education, California voters found the question to be a no-brainer: Do we continue to improve funding and the ability of our schools togive our students the education they need and deserve, or do we give a tax cut to the rich? California voters did the right thing.
California Federation of Teachers
A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2017 edition of Education Week as Election Coverage Overlooked California Funding Measure