Proposition 55 extends a previous measure that provided funding for K-12 education, California community colleges and healthcare programs – a vital source of revenue for these institutions.
Proposition 55 extends the tenure of Proposition 30, which was approved in the 2012 election and raised both sales and income taxes on incomes over $250,000 to increase state allocations to public education and healthcare. Proposition 30 is set to expire at the end of 2018, but if Proposition 55 is approved, the income tax increase will remain until 2030 – an additional 12 years.
California voters must pass Proposition 55 because allowing the flow of this educational revenue to stop all at once is dangerous. Prior to Proposition 30’s passage, public K-12 schools were facing $6 billion in budget cuts, on top of those they already suffered through. The measure’s taxes not only prevented these cuts, but even generated additional necessary money for California’s children.
While we often see education money going towards administrative bloat, revenue generated by these temporarily raised taxes cannot be spent on school administrators. This means that the $31.2 billion generated by Proposition 30 between January 2012 and June 2016 was completely dedicated to improving the student and teacher experience. Spending on K-12 students has increased by more than 14 percent to $10,493 per student for the 2016-17 academic year, meaning smaller class sizes – and better educational quality.
What’s more, the temporary taxes of Proposition 30 mostly affects the wealthiest 1 percent, whose taxes constitute almost 80 percent of generated revenue. Once Proposition 30 expires, and if Proposition 55 passes, only the income tax will remain raised for wealthy Californians and any burden on the greater population will be reduced.
Therefore, this board endorses Proposition 55 to maintain the recent stability in public education funding and help further improve California’s schools.
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