Though Proposition 38 has the noble intention of providing more funding to education programs, its passage may end up hurting state schools and universities more than it helps.
Proposition 38, sponsored by prominent Los Angeles attorney Molly Munger, would raise income taxes for low-, middle- and high-income brackets for 12 years, and direct almost all new revenue to K-12 and early childhood education.
The main problem with Proposition 38 stems from the fact that there is another tax measure on the ballot: Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30.
If voters approve both taxes, only the one with the most votes will go into effect. In other words, it comes down to a choice between Proposition 30 and Proposition 38.
And for us, the choice is clear: The University of California will lose $375 million in state funds, likely prompting tuition increases of 20 percent or more, if Proposition 30 does not become law.
For this reason, we have endorsed Proposition 30 and do not endorse Proposition 38.
Proposition 30 also provides substantial support to K-12 education. If the measure passes, schools will avoid a budget reduction of $5.4 billion, and are slated to receive 89 percent of revenue generated by the tax. The measure will also increase the funds available for public institutions such as the UC.
That’s why the California Teachers Association, which represents thousands of educators in public schools and colleges, has been vigorously campaigning for Proposition 30.
Proposition 30 provides benefits for all state students, from kindergarteners to those in the UC. For California education as a whole, it is integral that Proposition 38 does not pass.