You are on page 1of 2

Katherine Timpf: Schools nd Prop. 30 'not exactly honest' The...

Monday August 19, 2013 Home

Katherine Timpf: Schools find Prop. 30 'not exactly honest'

By KATHERINE TIMPF 04/02/2013 12:27 AM Although grateful for Proposition 30's passage in November, state educators and administrators are now struggling with how to manage voters' expectations a concern evident at the California Community College League Conference in Sacramento, Jan. 27 28. "The challenge for all of us is: the voters who made it very clear by going to theEnlarge Photo polls and overwhelmingly supporting Prop. 30 said that education matters," said Michele Sisquieros, executive director of the Los Angeles branch of the Campaign for College Opportunity. "It's a priority, but [voters] also think they have now solved the problem." To secure funding for his budget, Gov. Jerry Brown and his allies convinced voters that raising their own taxes would fix California schools. This illusion has remained, even now that his budget proposal has revealed that less than half the money will go to education. And the recently released year-end finance reports may explain why. Prop. 30 increased the sales and income taxes on people earning more than $250,000 per year. Initiative supporters raised four times more than opponents: a whopping $54 million. Gov. Brown estimated that the initiative would raise $8.5 billion in the first year, and then $6 billion annually until it expires. Conference presenters agreed that the $2.7 billion allotted for education would not cover the burdens the system faces burdens which will only grow this year. POLITICAL CARTOONS: 55 cartoons by Rick McKee Karen Y. Zamarripa, assistant vice chancellor for Advocacy and State Relations for the CSU, named a few of these expenses, such as payroll tax cuts and $49 million increase in health costs for current employees. "About 60 percent of our capital program is renovation, repairs, sizing and health and safety," she said. "So, for our board, it's now a zero-sum gain as it relates to not only the infrastructure side of the house but the operative side of the house." This was no surprise to those intimately involved with the dealings at the Capitol.

1 of 2

8/19/13 11:46 PM

Katherine Timpf: Schools nd Prop. 30 'not exactly honest' The...

Despite being called the "Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act," the actual text of the measure does not promise to give the money to schools at all. The measure only compels California to spend the money it raises on "programs in the state budget." Still, officials ranging from CCLC President and CEO Scott Lay to UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White said voters are expressing that they thought the problems were fixed. "Expectations are very high," White said. "What do you mean? You passed Prop. 30, remember? Why aren't there 17 sessions of chemistry available?" John Meyers, ABC News 10's political editor in Sacramento, said that he tried "multiple times" to report that the campaign was not "exactly honest." "They've got tens of millions of dollars of television ads that the audience is paying attention to more than they pay attention to my stories," he said. "I wrote once, twice, at least three times ... about the fact that all of the Prop. 30 money wasn't for schools." The effort to brand the measure as a savior to education was certainly aggressive. The website homepage featured a photo of young, smiling children reading together. "Yes on 30!" adopted the iconic red apple as its campaign symbol. In October 2012, California State University emailed applicants warning them that if it did not pass, they would have a lesser chance of admittance. An ad airing the same month featured California State Controller John Chiang promising that "Sacramento politicians can't touch the money," and that it "means no more school cuts." Of course, since most of the money will wind up in the general fund, politicians can certainly touch it, and schools have already made cuts. "We've had to cut our budget by $6.4 million this fiscal year," Long Beach City College President Eloy Oakley said during an interview at his office. Oakley said the changes included reducing the number of administrators and cutting 11 instructional programs. So how could Chiang claim that revenues raised by Prop. 30 would mean no more cuts? "Most of those revenues effect the '13-'14 budget, which is how the governor was able to say he's got a balanced budget," he said. "We're still coming out of a very large hole." Whether the proposed budget will actually balance depends on revenues coming in as expected, which is always a risky assumption with funds coming from income tax. "We're hopeful that this will be the last major budget reduction," Oakley said. "It all depends on how the state's economy does." Katherine Timpf is a Robert Novak fellow at The Phillips Foundation. Array Full Site | Feedback | Mobile Products | | WELCOME | LOGOUT | 2013 Orange County Register Communications
2 of 2 8/19/13 11:46 PM

You might also like